How a drunken night out led to the creation of this iconic Italian snack

Many of the world's great inventions happen by accident. The same is certainly true for the krumiri, an iconic little snack from the northern Italian region of Piedmont...

It all starts on a drunken night out in 1878...

It's 1878 and after an evening out in the north Italian town of Casale Monferrato, Domenico Rossi invites his friends over to his confectioner’s kitchen. Looking to prepare a quick snack, he combines flour, sugar, butter, eggs and some vanilla. Out of this mixture Domenico creates small strips of dough which he bakes. The krumiri are born.

Open tin with Krumiri biscuits

An instant hit

Perhaps due to the amounts of alcohol consumed that night, no one can really recall the origins of the name krumiri. Nevertheless, the snack is an instant success and it isn’t long until the rest of town wants a taste. Soon, Domenico starts baking Krumiri full-time.

Domenico's krumiri start to gain attention outside of Casale Monferrato, too. In 1884 the biscuits even receive an award at the Turin Universal Exhibition and Domenico becomes an official supplier to Italy’s aristocratic circles, including the Duke of Aosta, the Duke of Genoa and even King Umberto I.

Black and white image of a historic shop interior

From noble beginnings to Nobel Prize winners

In the early 1900s the krumiri are patented and Rossi’s confection delights continue to make a name of their own. Over the course of the next decades, famous people from across the world get a taste of the Krumiri Rossi, including Nobel Prize winners and U.S. presidents. 

Fast-forward to the 21st century and Casale Monferrato is still the home of the krumiri. The biscuits continue to be produced on a small, artisan scale, now by the Portinaro family, who took over the business in the 1950s. Even in his wildest dreams, Domenico Rossi did probably not imagine that the biscuit he invented after an evening out would still be made in his name more than 140 years later.

Krumiri Rossi tin    Krumiri Rossi retro shop front

Images credit:, The Hyper Localist,