The other day I bought some celli pieni, soft biscuits filled with rustic grape jam called “scrucchjata”, cocoa, lemon zest and almond. Their name derives from “uccelli ripieni” (“stuffed birds”) and in old days the biscuits were shaped as birds. Traditionally they were made for Christmas but nowadays you can find them in small traditional bakeries in the province of Chieti.
Until recently celli pieni were also made for young women who were getting married and leaving their family homes as symbols of fertility. Today it is hard to find them in elaborate bird shapes, more often they look like simple fat rings but they still taste delicious. The dough is very simple, with just a few ingredients: flour, sugar, olive oil and white wine. Here you will find a good recipe (in Italian) if you decide to make these sweet birds at home. If you are visiting Abruzzo, check out these small bakeries where fresh delicious celli pieni are every week:
Alla Chitarra Antica, Via Sulmona, 2, Pescara
Forno Zulli, Via Mazzini, 12, Rocca San Giovanni
L’arte del pane, Via Nazario Sauro, 31, San Vito Chietino
Pasticceria Lidia, Via Paolini, 31, San Vito Chietino