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of Ravenna

CATERINE are a particular kind of biscuits typical of Ravenna, in the shape of a doll, a hen or cockerel, covered in chocolate and finished with coloured sugar decorations.

The origin of these biscuits is uncertain, but they are prepared every year on the day of Saint Catherine (November 25th) and, according to the tradition, they are given as a present to children.

The hen represents an omen of fertility for young girls; the doll represents Saint Catherine, while the cockerel, usually given to young boys, represents the announcement of the new day, thus of the return and the change.


Ingredients for 6 people

  • 500 grams of flour;
  • 100 grams of melted butter;
  • 200 grams of sugar;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 1 sachet of yeast;
  • grated lemon zest;
  • sugar sprinkles.


Mix sugar and eggs, add the melted butter and the lemon zest. Pour the flour and the yeast and stir the mixture until it is smooth and consistent.

Cover the dough with a cloth and leave it to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes. In the meantime preheat the oven to 180°C.

Roll the dough with a rolling pin as thin as 1 centimetre. Cut it with cookie cutters or with a knife and shape it as you want.

Put your biscuits on a baking tray covered with baking paper and decorate them with icing, nib sugar, sprinkles or just sugar.

Put them in the oven and cook them for 10-12 minutes or until they are golden brown. Let them cool.

A cura della Redazione Locale.

Ultima modifica: 6 December 2022


Between love and holiness

Christian texts talk about Catherine of Alexandria, who was young, born in a royal family, beautiful and well-educated. Directed towards the pagan worship, she decided to convert and was thus sentenced to martyrdom. But in front of her determination, the hooks broke and milk flowed from her wounds, as a sign of her virgin innocence. Her body was laid by angels and a temple was raised in her burial place. Since then, Saint Catherine is the patron of marriageable maidens, seamstresses, pregnant women, university and students for her legendary wisdom capable of confusing even pagan philosophers.

According to a local tradition, the doll-shaped biscuit was created by a young pastry chef, who was in love with a seamstress but couldn’t meet her because her family didn’t want him to. With the aim of showing her his feelings and making her happy, the young man created these biscuits in her likeness.