They were traditionally born as sweets based on bread dough dipped into sugar or honey and baked in the town wood-burning ovens where in the past all the families used to bake their bread. They were usually put at the mouth of the oven, waiting for it to become hot enough to put the bread in. Over the years, the product has changed: its size has become almost the half of the original, the dough consistency lighter (also thanks to a less raw flour, to yeast, and above all to the introduction of butter), and the surface bright through painting with water and caster sugar.
Also the consumption of torcetti has changed: originally they were only for children (in the rare occasions when they could eat a sweet), then they were presented at the end of the meal during family celebrations (christenings, marriages, etc.), sometimes with whipped cream sprinkled with ground barley coffee or with zabaglione. In the 19th century, Torcetti of Lanzo became a real confectionery product.