Panforte was the medieval travel food of the crusaders. It was a dense, spicy fruitcake that was made to withstand travel and nutritionally very calorie-dense; though "calorie" wasn't a vocab word back then. It was a combination of dried fruit, dried nuts, sometimes a little flour, and spices, lots of spices. If you are lucky, you can sometimes find round disks of this delicious treat in specialty shops around Christmas time. Its sometimes translated into English as "fruit cake" but panforte is dense, chewy and delicious, more like a LaraBar than those holiday bricks filled with florescent cherries.
Most panforte comes from Sienna, in Tuscany, and contains some flour, I decided to modify a friend's homemade LaraBar recipe to see if I could concoct my own. I began with pitted dates, raw almonds, dried apricot past (I found it at the Halal butcher shop) and a meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer.
The flavors were subtle, and next time I will probably add more spices and more almonds to help the whole thing go faster. I am saving a bunch up for airplane snacks.