Panforte is a traditional Italian sweet, said to be invented in Siena, filled with nuts, dried fruits and spices. A glass of vin santo (which means holy wine) makes a beautiful companion. Panforte is a traditional Italian sweet, said to be invented in Siena, filled with nuts, dried fruits and spices. A glass of vin santo (which means holy wine) makes a beautiful companion. (TNS) Christmas in Tuscany would not be complete without a slice of panforte – the peppery, dried fruit and nut-based spice cake born in the central Tuscan hill town of Siena in the Middle Ages – served with a glass of vin santo, a sweet Italian dessert wine. Several legendary origin stories surround panforte. Some culinary historians believe it was inspired by lokum, aka Turkish delight, the ancient date- and nut-based confection popular in different forms in several Middle Eastern countries to this day, brought back to Tuscany by medieval-era crusaders. According to local lore, Sienese soldiers won the Battle of Montaperti against their rivals, the Florentines, in 1260, thanks in part to the spiced treat, which is not only packed with protein-powered energy but also travels well. In Siena, the cake was once ...