Originally tiramisù is from Treviso, so they say. How then, it has spread throughout the world is something of a miracle. But if it happened, it is not because it resembles a trifle or a charlotte. It is because of two things: the simplicity of the recipe and the unusual – at the time of its “invention” – combination of flavors; essentially the inclusion of coffee. For this reason, although I know it can be made with other ingredients, I couldn’t care less. It does not tickle my fancy or intrigue me, even if some of those combinations are more successful than others. VERSIONE ITALIANA
The simplicity of the execution means a guaranteed result, if you use the required ingredients and of good quality. that’s why it is easy to make, even if you are not familiar with pastry making. the millefeuille, filled with whipped cream or with zabaglione cream is a delicacy, but only one. a hundred confectioners makes it to perfection.
The combination of flavors: eggs whipped with mascarpone, ladyfingers soaked in coffee, cocoa powder (not chocolate chips!), all held in a layered shape, and yet the flavors remain distinct, and at the same time they interact, so that coffee and cream go well together, and the cocoa powder moderates the sweet rich mascarpone. The ingredients are not “local”, they are popular in Northern Italy or come from very far away: the ingeniousness is all in their combination. although it may have helped that the mascarpone was produced by fine craftsmen near Treviso.
Even its name, evocative as it is, has something to do with its success. a well balanced mix of flavors, a simple execution, and an aura swinging between the homely and the allusive.
The ovo sbatuo (the beaten egg in Veneto dialect), only with sugar for children, added with hot coffee or with Marsala for men, or for a new mother, or for students exhausted after their final exams; back in the past, it was always restorative, on hand, at home or made at home, in every house whether modest or bourgeois.
In the mid-50s it was already produced, by pastry chefs in Treviso. the restaurant of the Campeols, The Beccherie, made it for its clientele, and it may be true that Mrs. Campeol invented it by reasoning with her own pastry chef. the Nascimben bakery produced it, most likely at the request of Mr. Rosso (Toni Nascimben and Rosso were friends) for Ms Appiani’s restaurant, Il Fogher, and for the customers of the bakery. Mr. Rosso, by the way, was Ms Appiani’s husband.
But the ingredients were so widespread, the use of the cream with mascarpone already known, as was cheesecake, that it is difficult to decide who deserves the credit of a certificate of origin. Treviso, poorer than Venice, claims it. Venice, with its many lounges, theaters and concerts, with its nobles and brothels for nobles, might have already known of tiramisu, but as adorned as it is with all these other) treasures, does not even deign to credit for its birthright. Venice simply puts it on display in all its variations, colored and shiny, for the amusement of the tourists.
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