Artisans in the confection of sweets
in Genoa since 1780
Yesterday: excellence in hand-crafted sweets from the genoese to the royals of the time
Romanengo is a “confectionery” in the original 18th century sense of the term. In other words, our business was built around a collection of artisan workshops or ateliers where fruit, flowers, cocoa, sugar and spices are hand-crafted together following traditional production methods and jealously-guarded recipes handed down through the generations.
Since it was established by Pietro Romanengo in 1780, we have continued to market exclusive products with the same regard for quality as the original confectioners, with precious gift boxes and packages sold in our two elegant shops.
Already in the 19th century, Romanengo’s uncompromising insistence on the highest quality ingredients and standards of excellence in hand-crafted production techniques brought the company notoriety outside the regional borders of Liguria.
Indeed, Romanengo’s clients included not only prominent Genoese personalities from the highest political and economic echelons of the time, like the Doria patrician family, the Grendi shipping family and Duchess Galliera, but also from renown national personalities like the great Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi and the Duchess of Parma.
Memorable among the prestigious orders Romanengo received were those prepared for the wedding of Prince Umberto 1st to Margherita of Savoy in 1868, and ten years earlier, around 1857, on the occasion of the visit of Victor Emanuel 2nd to Savona.
This historic telegram attests to the wish to offer the king the very best desserts for his visit:
“Please deliver by coach [to HRH] a box of delicious varied demi-sucres from the distinguished company Pietro Romanengo fu Stefano, of the value of at least 10 Lire”.
Today and into the future – an old town shop with a window onto the world
Today our company remains loyal to centuries-old traditions of excellence, hand-crafting a seasonal variety of specialty sweets and chocolates using the highest quality natural ingredients.
The objective now is to give the Romanengo brand an international appeal by introducing our premium line of products to a discerning clientele outside the national and European borders. This bright vision for our future will continue to build on more than two centuries of hand-making traditional sweets that have won the hearts of generations of loyal customers.
Thanks to the superior quality of our products, Romanengo have already carved out a prestigious niche in the USA, Japan and various parts of Europe. As we face this new beginning and expand our horizons, we are truly excited to take the next steps on the historical journey of Italy’s oldest confectionery.
Tradition: the common thread linking past, present and future
Romanengo’s logo, a dove with an olive branch in its beak, represents a universal symbol of peace. It was adopted after the Napoleonic wars in the early 19th century, when the Romanengo family dreamt of the advent of a new era of peace and prosperity. Towards the middle of the 19th century, it became our confectionery brand’s official symbol and has since served as a reminder of the values that Romanengo continues to reflect and build on.
Our signature blue paper
Just as the iconic dove holding the olive branch has become the symbol of our confectionery business, the signature blue paper tied up with white string (into which in olden times a short wooden pencil used to be placed as a carrying handle) is now considered a hallmark of Romanengo’s elegant product packaging.
Our use of blue paper dates back to the mid-19th century when granulated sugar was sold in bulk and customarily wrapped in distinctive blue paper cones with a flat base to stand them upright. Hence the reference in Italian to a certain shade of blue as “carta da zucchero”, or sugar-paper-blue.
Seasonality of our products
Our annual production cycles are intimately connected to the natural growing season of all the raw ingredients we use.
We select the finest ingredients grown both in our regional and national territory to create artisan specialties using traditional confectionery recipes, so you can celebrate holidays, anniversaries and everyday occasions with our guarantee of the highest quality.
Month after month, you can enjoy a changing variety of specialties from our five confectionery sectors, each produced in a dedicated atelier under the expert supervision of our master artisan confectioners.
With the Ligurian Riviera’s sun-kissed orchards and citrus groves, candied fruits naturally became a staple delicacy of the great Genoese tradition. Today however, this once common product of artisan sweet-making shops across the region has all but completely disappeared.
At Romanengo, our production cycle still uses only the freshest seasonal fruit that is grown and allowed to ripen naturally on small farms in Liguria and across Italy.
Every year, between May and September, our production ateliers are overflowing with the inebriating scent of flowers and fruit. This profusion of ripe, juicy fruit and fresh, fragrant petals goes into making candied fruit, jams, jellies and syrups, following coveted recipes that faithfully exalt their subtle aromas, colours and flavours.
The production atelier where dragées are made specialises in sugar-coated Sicilian Avola almond dragées. Known as “confetti” in Italian, these sweets are traditionally offered to guests at religious or civil weddings, first communion and confirmation ceremonies, anniversaries and graduations.
During the harvest season, we also make sugar-coated Italian pine nut dragées and Sicilian Bronte pistachio dragées. These and other delicacies from our five different ateliers, including orange zest, fruit liqueurs, cinnamon bark, chocolate pralines and fondant sweets, make up the typical festive assortment offered in our traditional Genoese Christmas gift boxes.
The fondant sector produces “demi-sucre” or fondant sweets, fruit pastes, Rosolio drops, Ginevrina pastilles, jellies and other sugar specialties on a nearly year-round basis. But at Easter time, the atelier is filled with miniature churches, pianos, swallows, lambs, hares and roosters moulded from fondant sugar paste. Cinnamon-flavoured sugar eggs are another original specialty that our confectionery began making in the mid-1800’s and is now nearly impossible to find anywhere else.
Creating each of these specialties requires complex skills and know-how which cannot be harnessed into standard production methods. It is here that the artistic side of confectionary emerges and where our master confectioners’ creativity, ingenuity and taste find their ultimate expression.
At Romanengo, we are proud to produce chocolate the “old-fashioned” way by slowly working it with a mixer in a granite stone basin. A fine selection of just a few high-quality ingredients goes into our chocolate, beginning with premium grade cocoa paste, sugar, cocoa butter, milk and absolutely no additives or soy lecithin.
Dark and milk chocolates are produced in two main periods of the year. At Christmas, we prepare a wide range of bare and wrapped pralines, chocolate bars and figurines, while at Easter, chocolate is moulded into the classic Italian specialty – large hollow Easter eggs with thick chocolate shells – which, at Romanengo, are filled with surprises and sweets from our confectionery. To the delight of children young and old, this typical Easter treat can take the shape of chocolate hens, rabbits, turtles, nests or other figurines.
With the exception of summer, we produce chocolate bars that are especially appreciated in Japan, as well as a range of old-fashioned “iced” chocolates.
Our desserts and pastries, known in Genoa simply as “Romanengo desserts” are the perfect integration of our production and history since they almost all derive from the five specialty ateliers in our artisan confectionery. They include truffles and meringues with “santé” chocolate cream, caramelised fruits with our candied fruit and almond paste, marzipan desserts and sponge cake, chestnut cream pastries made from our chestnut paste, and other traditional desserts that have become synonymous with Christmas traditions. At Christmas we also prepare almond nougat covered in hazelnut-flavoured chocolate, as well as the “Queen’s Nougat – Torrone della Regina” a Montenegro-style nougat with pistachios that we’ve continued to make since the time it was created by special request of Queen Elena.
Besides chocolate eggs and sugar figurines, at Easter time customers can also enjoy exquisite marzipan eggs. There is even a beautiful Romanengo specialty for the period of Lent just before Easter that was created in our confectionery in the 1800’s. Finally, both Romanengo shops in Genoa offer limited edition specialties to celebrate various holidays throughout the seasons, that generations of our clients have been coming back for, year after year.
Over time, the company founded by Pietro Romanengo has remained true to its essence as a confectionery – namely, an artisan production facility where fruit, flowers, spices, aromas and colours are processed using sugar.
During the 19th century our company also began producing chocolates as most other major European confectioneries gradually did.
Today our artisan production facility is still organised along the 19th century French and Italian model, with the five main sectors or ateliers, typical of a large confectionery: fourneau (candied fruits and jams), chocolat (chocolate and pralines), dragées (sugar-coated confetti), office (fondant and sugar processing ), four (almond processing and patisserie).
Romanengo’s wide range of hand-made confectionery specialties is rooted in the long-held Genoese traditions of candying and rests directly on our loyalty to original recipes and the historic cookbooks of eminent “confiseur – chocolatier” professionals.
Here in lies the art of the confectioner, the art of preserving Nature’s gifts and imitating their appearance and taste with expert sugar processing.
Romanengo’s products are crafted with only the very finest natural ingredients and contain no preservatives or artificial flavours.
To prevent possible allergies, we list products containing flour, eggs, milk, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios and almonds.
Our chocolates are made in a production facility where hazelnuts and almonds are also processed seasonally. No added emulsifiers or soy lecithin are used in our dark chocolate.