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Adelaide's first tigelleria offers a taste of Italy

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A new Adelaide cafe is seeking to turn South Australians on to the delights of tigelle – a small round Italian bread which it fills with everything from traditional salumi to Nutella and mascarpone.

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Owners Enrico and Orietta Paterni say Rusco & Brusco Tigelleria Bar, which opened last week on Magill Road at St Morris, is “the first tigelleria to hit Adelaide”.

Enrico describes tigelle (also known in Italy as crescentine or crescenti) as a round thin bread somewhere between piadina and pizza, although unlike the piadina it is made with yeast.

He grew up in a small village in the north of Italy, near Modena, where tigelle originated.

“My Mama, when it was Sunday, two or three times a month she would make them… and my neighbours as well,” Enrico tells InDaily.

“I remember the smell in the house – she used to put a big tray on the table.”

The Paternis previously owned the Cibo cafe on Hutt Street, and Enrico says Cibo is one of the few other places in Adelaide which sells tigelle. In Italy, however, it is very popular.

While Rusco & Brusco’s menu features a range of brunch, lunch and dinner options – including salads, pasta and other Italian dishes such as saltimbocca alla romana and gnocco fritto – its main focus is the tigelle. Because they are too small for a main meal, customers can choose between a serve of three or five.


“The secret is that you make it fresh when the customer orders,” Enrico says.

“We prepare the dough the same day and when someone orders we put the little balls of dough in a special machine [a little like a waffle maker] imported from Italy.

“The other secret is that you can’t put anything in there – you have to have high-quality ingredients.”

Filling options include savoury ingredients such as prosciutto, salami, cheese and truffle, while sweet choices include the Nutella and mascarpone, ricotta and blueberry, and gorgonzola cheese with walnuts.

Tigelle can also be enjoyed served with salads or breakfast meals.

Tigelle can also be enjoyed served with salads or breakfast meals.

“We change every week because they are limited just by your imagination,” Enrico says.

“Because we are in Australia, we are giving the option of butter and Vegemite as well – you put together two different cultures and people order it.

“Most of the customers come in asking for the tigelle because they haven’t had it. It’s fun and I think the guys in the kitchen didn’t expect it to be this popular.”

Rusco & Brusco Tigelleria Bar – which is open seven days from 7am until 10pm – also sells a range of gelati made from Paris Creek milk, fresh-baked pastries such as cornetto filled with ricotta, and Cirelli coffee.



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