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Pistoia Box: Confetteria Corsini

Can there be a bond as strong as the one between this historic confectionery and its city? It is since 1918 that Confetteria Corsini has kept alive the city’s tradition of sugared almonds, which are made in large copper containers called bassine, where water and sugar syrup are mixed with certain raw materials such as coriander, fennel and chocolate. The small laboratory, just inside the store, is exactly as it used to be, having preserved vintage machinery that in the past also produced delicious candies. The two large containers are driven by rolling belts according to an entirely mechanical procedure, taking us back in time to the early twentieth century, when electricity was still considered a luxury good. Giorgia tells us about the medieval origin of the sugared almond, in particular the “poisoned” one, which was useful to Filippo Tedici (traitor of the city of Pistoia who offered it for money to the lord of Lucca Castruccio Castracani) to kill his wife, who was particularly greedy for these delicious sugared almonds.

The company created by Bruno Corsini had to survive many vicissitudes, including the bombings of World War II, which destroyed the factory located near the station, resuming later the activity in Piazza San Francesco. Even before that, during the autarchy imposed by the fascist regime, it had to adapt to the strict limitations linked to the importation of chocolate, favoring other ingredients that were available on the national territory such as almonds and hazelnuts. Today the sugared almond that comes out of the bassine is always fresh and can be eaten in many different occasions, the most traditional ones are weddings. The typical sugared almonds of the city are the “birignoccoluti”, a Pistoiese term to indicate the small points on the top of the sugared almond, as if they had small bumps. The sugared almond of Pistoia is today a precious gem that gladdens moments of sharing and that, once poisoned, “with the passing of the years has become harmless and exquisite”, just as Giorgia affirms.