Pizzelle” are wide­spread through­out the region Abruzzo, although cer­tain dif­fer­ences exist between the lead­ing pro­duc­tion cen­tres, par­tic­u­lar­ly regard­ing the con­sis­ten­cy of the dough and the ingre­di­ents used to flavour it (lemon or aniseed).
These spe­cial­i­ties are also known by dif­fer­ent names, like “neole”, “nev­ole” (in Ortona), “fer­ratelle” or “can­cel­late”.

They are waf­fles cooked with a spe­cial “iron”, slight­ly hol­low and etched with squares or dia­monds on the inside, which give the pro­duct its dis­tinc­tive form, usu­al­ly square, round­ed or fan-shaped, with raised motifs (squares, stripes or dia­monds).

The recipe is very sim­ple.
Ingredients are eggs, sug­ar, extra vir­gin olive oil and flour.

Break the eggs and mix them with sug­ar and extra vir­gin olive oil. After beat­ing well, a soft mix­ture is formed by grad­u­al­ly adding flour. A spoon­ful is placed on the iron, after oil­ing and heat­ing over the hearth or a gas or elec­tric ring. The iron is then closed and placed back on the heat, tak­ing care to turn it over halfway through cook­ing. When the mix­ture turns gold­en brown it is cooked and can be removed from the iron with a fork, before being placed on a tray to cool. It is very impor­tant to estab­lish the opti­mal cook­ing time on the basis of the type of iron and the inten­si­ty of the flame.
Traditionally, the cor­rect time is cal­cu­lat­ed by say­ing a Hail Mary fol­lowed by an Our Father. Generally 35 “pizzelle” can be made from one egg, depend­ing on the size of the waf­fle iron.
The result is a deli­cious bis­cuit with a soft con­sis­ten­cy (thick­er) or a crunchier one (thin­ner), depend­ing on the recipe, which varies between places and fam­i­lies, and thus the iron used.

We have no cer­tain infor­ma­tion regard­ing the ori­gins of this spe­cial­i­ty, but the tra­di­tion of forg­ing irons with the coat of arms or ini­tials of the own­er on one side and the man­u­fac­tur­ing date on the oth­er reveals that “pizzelle” irons were already wide­ly used by Abruzzo fam­i­lies between the end of the eigh­teen­th and ear­ly nine­teen­th cen­tu­ry.

Pizzelle” were tra­di­tion­al­ly wed­ding spe­cial­i­ties, pre­pared for mar­riages and offered to all the guests who vis­it­ed the bride to view her gifts, but they were lat­er extend­ed to all fes­tiv­i­ties, both reli­gious and sec­u­lar. The use of the iron and the clas­sic pat­tern (squares, stripes or dia­monds) also makes it pos­si­ble to guess the ori­gins of the oth­er names used for this pro­duct or its minor vari­a­tions: “fer­ratelle” and “can­cel­late” are straight­for­ward (mean­ing “rail­ings” or “grates”, some­times said to be derived from the fact that they were orig­i­nal­ly pre­pared by clois­tered nuns). However, the ori­gins of “neole” or “nev­ole” — which are usu­al­ly soft­er and thus more suit­able for sand­wich­ing togeth­er with a fill­ing of “scruc­chi­ata” (grape jam), cream, choco­late or hon­ey — are more com­plex (although prob­a­bly derived from “nuv­ole”, mean­ing “clouds”, due to their soft con­sis­ten­cy). The recipe for “nev­ole”, pro­duced only in the Ortona area, fea­tures some dif­fer­ences, includ­ing the addi­tion of must syrup to the mix­ture. Since they are soft, “nev­ole” can be rolled into a sort of cone; they have a more dis­tinc­tive flavour and some­times also a fill­ing.