Two crunchy wafers sandwiching a dark chocolate filling: the Canestrej Bieleis is probably the biscuit that best represents our territory, and its origins date back to ancient times. Brusa Canestrelli, still made according to the traditional artisan recipe, are composed of 70% extra-fine, extra-dark chocolate, sandwiched between two crispy wafers, flavoured with cocoa and almond oil. The chocolate used for the filling is of the finest quality and contains no vegetable fats: only cocoa butter.
The recipe for Canestrej Bieleis dates back as far as the biblical era and the story goes that the rustic wafers used in the product, known as miasce, were a firm favourite with the Ancient Romans. In the ancient recipe for the wafers, white flour was blended with fioretto (a very finely-sifted corn flour), sugar, soft butter and the grated rind of a lemon. The baker would incorporate milk and obtain a rather firm mixture which he would bake between two slabs of red-hot stone. Later, steel plates were used, and the noble families would engrave their family coats of arms on these to personalise their canestrej.
Canestrej Bieleis are mentioned in the manuscript “Notice sur l’arrondissement de Biella, departement de la Sesia” dated 1805, held at the royal library in Turin, in which they are described as a typical product of Biella. Today they are classed as one of the Traditional Piedmontese Agrofood Products (PATs), protected by the Piedmont region.