Guanto Caleno, golden yellow cake of Calvi Risorta

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guanto caleno

Guanto Caleno, golden yellow cake of Calvi Risorta

The ruins of Cales, an ancient roman city, lie close to Calvi Risorta, near Caserta, and gives thir the name to an antique gastronomic specialty: the “guanto caleno” or “Zunese”, from the locality of Zuni. It’s a golden yellow cake shaped like a doughnut made of soft and delicate dough. The recipe’s origin is uncertain but no doubt it is very ancient and has being passed down verbally through the years. Still today production of this particular cake is guarded by a small group of women in a communal ritual that follows the ancient traditions. Custom wants that in some particular religious festivities such as baptisms, christenings or weddings, the “guanto caleno” is commissioned to these female custodians of the ancient tradition. You can’t normally buy it in local shops for it’s only sold to support local festivities or to gather offerings for poor people. It’s prepared with flour, sugar, milk, olive oil, yeast, anisette and grounnded lemon peel. In the past, bicarbonate soda was used instead of yeast. Ingredients are mixed in the bread chest and after resting for half an hour the dough is spread on a wooden table and the pastry, half a cm thick, is cut into large 5 cm wide ribbons with an iron tool made by local craftsmen. It is made into high rings and immediately fried in vegetable oil. Its distribution is limited to Calvi Risorta and some nearby towns.

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