Oil, biscuits and San Vigilio

In the Sixteenth century, the wayfarers who would reach the harbour of San Vigilio would find a marble plaque at the entrance of the town’s gateway, exhorting them to leave behind the toils and worries of city life, so as to fully appreciate the peacefulness of the place. You may find it hard to understand the emotions we feel when we admire the fascinating beauty of San Vigilio. If you have never been there, we would really advise you to find at least one day to enjoy a landscape whose beauty cannot be described.

San Vigilio is the amoenissimus mons beloved by Latin poets, a place where nature and history seem to speak the same language. Here you will find centuries-old olive trees standing close to younger trees, in what seem to be a bond between past and present. The gentle beauty of the harmonious landscape is reflected by the extra virgin oil obtained from the olives of this region, namely San Vigilio Dop Garda oil. This delicate oil is among the ingredients needed to bake those delightful biscuits called after Emperor Franz Joseph. Take a look at the recipe below, it is really mouth-watering!

And oil? It is an essential ingredient. The olives harvested in the ancient groves in San Vigilio are used to make an excellent PDO Garda oil. This oil, produced in limited amounts, has a fruity aroma and a delicate taste. It is therefore ideal for these biscuits.

Franz Joseph’s biscuits *

Ingredients (Makes 25-30 biscuits)

– 300 g plain flour
– 1 dl San Vigilio Garda DOP extra virgin olive oil
– 100 g sugar
– 1 egg
– Zest of one lemon
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 40 g sultanas
– ½ glass dry white wine
– 20 g roasted pine nuts
– 2 tablespoons milk
– Icing sugar
– Salt


Rinse the sultanas and place them into a glass of white wine.
Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add a pinch of salt, the sultanas, well drained, and the roasted pine nuts.
Break the egg into another bowl, and whisk it with the oil, sugar and lemon zest. Add the milk slowly, mixing delicately.
Add the dry ingredients and mix together.
Using a teaspoon, spoon the resulting dough onto an oven tray lined with baking parchment.
Bake for approximately 20 min. at 170/180°C.


2 bowls, colander, sieve, grater, whisk, oven tray and baking parchment. 

* Courtesy of  Antonia Polese   “Cucina di Casa”, Verona

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