The Ciammella a Zampa (hoof doughnut) is an oven-baked savoury speciality, typical of the Monterotondo area, a beautiful town between the Nomentana and Salaria roads, close to Rome. It is also known with the name of St. Anthony’s doughnut because it is traditionally consumed on 17th January, feast of St. Anthony the Abbot, protector of animals. In fact, it is not a coincidence that people of Monterotondo name it “hoof” because the intertwined shape given to the mixture recalls the back of a cow’s hoof. According to tradition, tons of doughnuts destined for the party must be prepared by the ladies of the village at least a week before, to be sold on the occasion of the religious event dedicated to the saint.
Today, however, it is possible to buy doughnuts all year round in all bakeries of the Monterotondo district. The recipe is based on simple ingredients: water, flour and oil - the three fundamental ingredients of peasant culture - to which aniseeds are added to make them more characteristic. According to the two different versions of the recipe, these doughnuts can be prepared with or without eggs. In both cases, however, the procedure involves boiling and a second baking, with a long intermediate period (corresponding to an entire night) to dry them on wooden boards. The ciammelle are excellent to taste as they are, especially if accompanied by white wine or cooked wine.
The Ciammella a Zampa is of a homogeneous colour ranging from light brown to golden yellow for the variation containing eggs. There is a pronounced aroma of flour, oil and spicy aniseed, combined with hints of white wine. The taste is harmoniously salty, with a slight sweet and sour note. The consistency is quite crunchy with a convincing aromatic persistence.