WHAT’S IT LIKE LIVING ON BURANO?It’s nice here, we’re like a big family, it’s a calm place. Tourists come here from all over the world to buy our traditional sweets.
WHAT’S THE STORY OF THE BUSSOLÀ COOKIE?(Carmelina’s husband replies.) At one time, all families made bussolà at Easter. Then they put them aside and ate them throughout the year. After the war, when tourism began, Carmelina’s father started selling the cookies all year round; he was the very first one to have that idea. Then as the years passed we tried to teach the world about bussolà, always making sure to communicate quality over quantity: the ingredients are all traditional. Our daughter now has a bakery in Jesolo and she makes little bussolà for large-scale distribution. The recipe is still the same, but they are made with custom-made machines. The locals mostly want Carmellina’s cookies. When they come to Burano, they look for our product because they taste the difference. Here on Burano we still make everything by hand, just like in the past.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BUSSOLÀ MADE MACHINE AND THOSE MADE BY HAND?The ingredients are all the same, but the handmade ones are drier, harder on the outside, but, cooked in our ovens, they stay soft on the inside.
HOW HAS YOUR WORK CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?In the first years, we made 1500 pounds of bread, because there were a lot of people on Burano, there were 8000 of us. Both my husband and I started working in this store when we were eight years old, and from then on we always worked, nonstop, during the weekend and over the holidays. Now we work much more with the bussolà cookies than we do with bread.
BURANO IS ACTUALLY KNOWN FOR THE BUSSOLÀ COOKIES, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?For us, it’s very satisfying, they come and ask specifically for Carmellina, for our bussolà, the authentic ones. The mayor and patriarca have come; the mayor wanted a package of yeast so he could make his own bread at home, and can you believe that the patriarca still remembers us, that was really an unforgettable day? And all the doctors from all over go crazy for bussolà, when you bring them to them, they ask, “Are these Carmellina’s?” And they’re also healthy, they have all natural ingredients.
Carmelina says goodbye with these words: “May god give us good health, there’s love here – just look around you. To keep a place like this, you need devotion and love.”