From Rome with love

Bite into sweet tradition, bite into a maritozzo

Maritozzi. (Photos: Four Season ​Hotel​ Bangkok​ at​ Chao Phraya River)

Move over croissants, here comes Rome's most loved bun from the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok!

The maritozzo is a pillowy brioche-style bun filled with cream that is generally sold from morning to late afternoons in shops that bake in-house. "In most pastry shops in Rome, maritozzo is always present because it is a good accompaniment with coffee," says executive chef Andrea Accordi. "During lockdown, I enjoyed baking at home and made maritozzi. My wife loved it and suggested I make it at work. I then made it for a few VIP guests and once they posted it on social media, I was inundated with requests," adds chef Accordi.

In fact, in recent months maritozzi have been making headlines in Italy and Japan, where it is the new craze. "Mainly because it's a simple pastry and something you can eat any time of the day. I call it 'comfort pastry food'," says chef Accordi. He joined hands with the hotel's new executive pastry chef and fellow Italian, Andrea Bonaffini to create an elevated maritozzo for Bangkok.

Though traditionally, the bun is made using butter and a bit of EVO and is filled with whipped cream, chef Accordi adds a bit of citrus, too. He has also added a chocolate cream-filled version using 70% dark chocolate from Kad Kokoa, "not only because it is local but because it is a beautiful chocolate". Though the main reason for a chocolate version is because the chef loves chocolate!

Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River executive chef Andrea Accordi.

"Citrus goes well with chocolate and I love the combination. For the cream one, I also use a bit of white chocolate to give it body and Tahitian vanilla. White chocolate also gives it more of a creamy consistency and improves the flavour of the cream," says the chef.

A pastry that dates back to the Middle Ages, maritozzo was the only sweet allowed to be eaten during Lent, which is the period of fasting before Easter in the Christian faith. Though that's not the pastry's sole purpose. It gets its name from the Italian word for husband, "marito", and maritozzi are often given by a husband to his wife, as a reminder of their love. Or if legend is to be believed, when a man proposed to a woman the ring would often be hidden inside the cream. A guaranteed yes from me!

Pro tip: Since the maritozzi are very delicate pastries and due to the Bangkok heat, it is imperative to eat them within hours of receiving them. "Do not put them in the fridge, as that will harden the buns, which have butter in them," warns chef Accordi. They can be kept in an air-conditioned environment, but as is done in Italy they should be eaten within a few hours of arrival. Also, it is important to note that if you order via Grab or other delivery services, the maritozzi may melt due to the warm transportation.

Maritozzi are available for takeaway at B130 net per piece and come in two flavours: Tahitian vanilla cream or Dark chocolate cream. A minimum order of four pieces and 24-hour advance order and payment is required. Guests can order via Line @FSBangkok or by calling 02-032-0885.

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