The curious legend of Rome's much-loved maritozzo.
The maritozzo is a classic sweet pastry, traditionally packed full of whipped cream, which has satisfied Romans for centuries.
The dough-based bun is typically eaten in Rome for breakfast but can also be eaten as a hefty snack, or dessert, throughout the day.
Today there are multiple variations of the tasty treat whose origins date back to ancient Roman times with a simple recipe of eggs, flour, honey, salt and butter.
In addition to the classic creamy variety, there are maritozzi prepared with pine nuts and raisins, or covered with chocolate, sometimes even stuffed with burrata, tomato, pesto or baccalà.
There are also gluten free or vegan versions these days.
The maritozzo gained widespread appeal in Rome in the Middle Ages as the church allowed it to be eaten during the traditional period of fasting during Lent, earning it the nickname "er Santo Maritozzo."
As for its name, "maritozzo" is derived from "marito", the Italian word for husband. In the 19th century the maritozzo became central to another curious tradition: men would propose - on the first Friday of March - by presenting their future brides with an engagement ring hidden inside a maritozzo.
In recent years, on 1 December, Rome's bars and restaurants pay homage to the maritozzo with the capital's annual Maritozzo Day.
In the meantime, one of the best places in the city to try various incarnations of the much-loved treat is Er Maritozzaro, a Roman institution located on Via Ettore Rolli 50, near Trastevere train station.
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Maritozzo: one of Rome's sweetest traditions
Via Ettore Rolli, 50, 00153 Roma RM, Italy