History and tradition of the tordello

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 13:15


Stuffed with strictly stale bread and so many spices dosed so that no one prevails.
For the dough not only eggs and flour, but also water, so as to make it more robust and create a pleasant contrast with the soft interior.
And the shape? Strictly crescent-shaped.

Here is the identikit of the true tordello alla lucchese, the main dish of our tradition.

A group of experts gathered yesterday at the Real Collegio on the occasion of the Desco: the scholars of the Italian Academy of cooking, one of the promoters of the meeting, the cooks of the Fornello Club of Lucca, agronomists, oenologists, administrators. And a lot of public, not only to try the tordelli prepared by the "Fornelle", but also to listen to stories and curiosities about this typical and beloved dish.


This main dishes of Lucchese cuisine is the protagonist of the Desco meetings: Saturday 8 December we talk about "History and tradition of the typical cuisine of Lucca: the tordello" with the president of the Chamber of Commerce Giogio Bartoli, Samuele Cosentino of the Commission Desco to the "demotion" with the cooking show held by the Lucca delegation of the Club del Fornello-Rivalta and to the relationship "history and tradition of the tordello" by the Lucca section of the Italian Academy of the kitchen.

A point of view certainly original because we have rarely heard of the past or the ancestors of the tordello.

On the topic the local section of the Academy of the kitchen has prepared a small volume. Thus, while the Sala del Grano was filled with tantalizing aromas for the preparation of the dish, it became known that tordello is a term used only by Lucca, Viareggio and the Lunigianesi, while outside these territories it is called tortello. Why did t become d? «It is not clear - Andreini and Domenici say - Perhaps it derives from the Tuscan saying" fat as a thrush "to define a robust person: the tordelli, in fact, have a rather thick and full bodied shape and consistency compared to the classical ones».


In any case, the word "tordello" was spread after 1700, as the term "tortello" still appears on the menus of Palazzo's lunches in the eighteenth-century Lucca.

The "concept", however, has ancient origins. The name derives from the Latin torquere, ie turn, and the ancestors are small stuffed pies from the Middle Ages.
Invention of the culture and cuisine of that time, tortelle appeared almost everywhere: first only in large lunches, then also on the tables of the people to make edible vegetables otherwise too bitter or not very noble pieces of meat or to reuse leftovers. The step was short from the savory pies to the tortelli.

With the variant of ravioli, born in Liguria - always in the Middle Ages, as reported by Andreini and Domenici - in the Raviolo family inn, from which they took the name. The authors invite not to make confusion between the two dishes: «The raviolo is generally square, more rarely round. The tortello is mostly rectangular, with various exceptions ».


Like the characteristic crescent shape of the Lucchese tordello: the round of pasta, cut with the inverted glass or with a stencil, is folded on the filling and the edges are crushed with the tines of the fork to prevent the bait filling from cooking. Of the basic recipe few other fixed points: the balance of spices used, the right amount of filling (neither too much nor too much), the consistency of the dough (made with fewer eggs), a meat sauce well pulled for seasoning.

And a pinch of talent.

foto www.trattoriagigi.it