Taralli di Agerola con le Mandorle ed al Finocchietto
Agerola, near Naples, is the doorway to the Amalfi coast and the only place where the recipe of a fennel tarallo, named by the towns name, is produced. The traditional recipe, which has survived orally and was passed down through generations in local artisan laboratories, is made by kneading water, flour, fennel, pepper, salt and natural crescito and made into rings or little braids that have to rise for half an hour in open air. After rising, each ring is put in boiling water for about 2 minutes before being baked and packed. The tarallo di Agerola is very crunchy with a strong fennel flavour. A variation to the recipe, also very ancient, substitutes fennel with butter and whole or crushed almonds; this is known as “tarallo alle mandorle”, it is identical in shape but more friable and, thanks to the almonds, it is slightly bitter-sweet.