I am, as ever, a sucker for a recipe with a great name. Bring me your grunts, your bundts, your fools, slumps and sonkers. Take me across the pond and let me feast on jammy dodgers, bubble and squeak, rarebit and rumbledethumps. I hope you know it’s only a matter of time until we take in some scrumptious nun’s farts. And so, for no reasons other than an inherent fascination with great food names plus egg whites to use up after a batch of these evil things, I turned my attention this week to the brutti ma buoni (meaning “ugly but good”), an egg white cookie the hails from Prato, Italy.
In this age of Pin-able envy, lifestyle aspiration, and “elevated” anything (living rooms, personal brands, and soups, apparently) I find it delightfully direct that we get to call these misshapen, homely beige blobs exactly what they are. Everyone knows the prettiest pastries — too glassine and brightly colored, not a dot of royal icing out of place — are the most suspicious, and often the least tasty. Ugly baked goods are, to me, like the one out-of-place item on a restaurant menu, irresistible because it couldn’t be there for anything but the fact it must taste really good.