| Anise seeds, almonds, candied fruits, coriander, flour, Tuscan millefiori honey|
Ricciarelli, Panforte, Panpepato, Bruttiboni, Castagnaccio
Cavallucci are a rich Italian Christmas pastry made with anise, almonds, candied fruits, coriander, and flour. They are Sienese in origin, and the name translates approximately to "little horses." The chewy biscuits traditionally use Tuscan millefiori honey as an essential ingredient in the paste.
The cookies were originally imprinted with the image of a horse (cavalli is the Italian term for horses). The cookies sold today are a gentrified version of a pastry which is traceable to the reign of Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449–1492), when they were called biriquocoli.
Many theories are associated with the origin of its name. According to the most popular version of the story, cavallucci were served to travelers on horseback as a source of nourishment for long trips. Along a similar vein, another story is that postal workers who delivered mail over long distances ate the cookies on a regular basis. Another theory states that these sweets were the usual snack of servants who worked in horse stables of rich Italian aristocrats in Siena, a city which gained its fame for horse racing.
The pastry is often paired with sweet dessert wines, such as Vin Santo, and dipped into the wine before being eaten.