In 1858, Antonio Mattei had just opened his biscuit factory and store and was making a dry almond biscuit, from a recipe of his own invention, which was bound to become Prato’s most typical and traditional biscuit. In fact, Mattei’s bakery products soon gained a strong reputation beyond the borders of Prato and Tuscany: the medal for merit in 1861 at the Italian Exposition, the special mention at the Universal Exposition of Paris in 1867. In addition to Artusi, Prato’s biscuits count many illustrious fans: : Malaparte, Ardengo Soffici, Sem Benelli, Hermann Hesse and former presidents Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and Bill Clinton.
In 1908, the business was taken over by Ernesto Pandofini, who had been working at the biscuit factory for a long time and went on pursuing the founder’s commitment to high quality and creativity. Ernesto created and developed new products, such as the Filone candito, Brutti Buoni, Biscotto della Salute, which are now thought of as the bakery’s signature products and whose recipes and cooking methods are as strictly followed as those used in the making of the Biscotto di Prato.