Parrozzo (Italian pronunciation: [parˈrɔttso]) or pan rozzo [pan ˈroddzo] is a traditional cake from the region of Abruzzo, in Italy. It is commonly related to Christmas gastronomic tradition but is eaten all the year round. Parrozzo has been acknowledged as a traditional agricultural and food product of Abruzzo.


Parrozo was invented in 1920 by Luigi D'Amico, owner of a bakery in Pescara. D'Amico wanted to create a cake that resembled the traditional rough bread made by the local farmers with corn flour. Parrozzo has the same semispherical shape, contains eggs to mimic the yellow of the corn, and is covered with a layer of dark chocolate that reminds the burnt surface of the bread.

The first person to try parrozzo was the poet Gabriele D'Annunzio that celebrated the new creation with a madrigal "La Canzone del Parrozzo" (the song of parrozzo), written in Abruzzese dialect:

"È tante ‘bbone stu parrozze nove che pare na pazzie de San Ciattè, c’avesse messe a su gran forne tè la terre lavorata da lu bbove, la terre grasse e lustre che se coce… e che dovente a poche a poche chiù doce de qualunque cosa doce…” Gabriele D'Annunzio

Ingredients and preparation

The dough of parrozzo is made of semolina (alternatively yellow or white flour with starch), sugar, eggs, ground almonds, bitter almond essence and orange or lemon skin. All these ingredients are mixed and baked in an aluminium semispherical tray. When the cake has cooled down, it is removed from the tray and covered with molten dark chocolate.


    • Enrico Di Carlo, Gabriele d'Annunzio e la gastronomia abruzzese, Castelli, Verdone, 2010;
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