The Quaquara is the characteristic cake of Genola: a white flour biscuit, with a wrinkled surface, consisting of a stick of dough folded into the shape of a drop, or according to some, into the shape of a heart. The shape is supposed to resemble the back of a cockchafer, or 'quaquara' in dialect, a beetle which is very common in the Genola countryside in May.
It is a speciality produced every year by local families between April and May, on the occasion of the patronal feast of San Marziano (third Sunday in May). The first certain information on the origin of this custom dates back to the end of the 18th century.
For several years now, the inhabitants of Genola have organised a 'communal bakery', run by volunteers coordinated by the pro loco, which bakes three and a half quintals of biscuits a day for three weeks.
The basic mixture is made from eggs, wheat flour, butter, sugar, lemon peel and bitter almonds. Families prepare the dough at home, each according to their own 'secret' dosage of ingredients, and then come together for the final ritual of baking. The fire is stoked by bundles of twigs obtained from autumn pruning in the countryside, carefully prepared by local farmers and stored to mature until the new spring.
The story of the quaquare and the recipe has been passed down through generations by word of mouth, and this pleasant tradition combines the pleasure of the palate with the pleasure of sharing a tradition.