Di Droneresi, Macarons and Giolitti: Our History
As you surely know, Droneresi are unique chocolates produced in Dronero, a small town in lower Piedmont, in the province of Cuneo, at the foot of the picturesque and wild Valle Maira.
They were born around 1890, thanks to the intuition of the master pastry chef Giuseppe Galletti, former mayor of Dronero.
Galletti is universally recognized as one of the great enlightened minds in the pastry sector at the beginning of the last century. It is said that the creation of the famous French "Macarons" is also to be attributed to him.
During one of his trips to Paris, in fact, it seems that in showing the Droneresi (made up of crumbly meringues) the cousins from across the Alps pointed to these "ugly" sweets with the derogatory term of, precisely, "Macarons".
Over the years, the French added almond flour to the Galletti recipe, thus making the meringue more elastic and less brittle, and so, it is said, the Macarons as we know them today were born.
The two famous concave meringues, filled with chocolate and rum, won an award in 1905 at the international trade fair in Turin. Even in the Savoy capital, the pairing of these ingredients intoxicates and conquers the public more than the Cuneese "cousins", a version that shamelessly refers to Galletti's recipe, but by covering the pralines themselves with chocolate, these were less sensitive and more storable ( therefore more marketable).
The "pastry" history of our family, on the other hand, starts from 1964.
Grandfather Celestino Brignone, originally from Monastero di Dronero, and grandmother Giuseppina Garnero (from Villar San Costanzo), met at a young age at the Harlem company in Dronero, where panettone are produced, and they got married in 1954.
After a first successful work experience on their own at the Villa di Verzuolo, also in the province of Cuneo, they decide to reinvest in the Dronero area, buying with great economic sacrifices, the current pastry shop, located in the very central Via Roma and forming part of a mid 18th century.
Piazzetta San Sebastiano: where our historical headquarters in Dronero is still present
Our activity in Dronero, therefore, begins in 1964 : Celestino and Pina take over the previous activity of "Munsù Einaudi", a refined pastry chef who learns this art during the years of the Second World War in nearby France, and refines the pastry techniques right at the "court" of Galletti.
As often happened in the past years (and often still happens today), once enough secret purchases from the former mayor of Dronero, Einaudi decides to go on his own, also starting to produce Droneresi.
Grandfather Celestino began in this field at a very young age: the sixth of eleven brothers, his parents at the age of 10 sent him to "learn a trade" in Barriera di Milano, on the outskirts of Turin, in a pastry shop.
After the production of panettone in Harlem, and the pastry shop in Verzuolo, he too set up on his own and, thanks to the first years of support from Einaudi, soon became a point of reference for the whole territory of Dronero and Valle Maira .Since then many things have changed in the world, but certainly not our way of doing Droneresi: meticulous and accurate production, research of the best raw materials of excellence and completely manual production process.