Tiramisu is one of the most well-known and popular Italian dessert eaten with a spoon in the world: “tiramisu” is the fifth most recognised Italian word amongst Europeans, and appears in the vocabulary of as many as 23 different languages! Perhaps due to its simplicity or high nutritional values, it’s almost impossible, especially in Italy, to find someone who has never tasted a spoonful. But this dessert is also famous for and characterised by a longstanding debate, as different Italian regions compete to be crowned its birthplace. So, let’s try to trace the origin of tiramisu through its history.
Although tiramisù is actually a fairly recent invention, this dessert of coffee-soaked ladyfingers layered with mascarpone cream enjoys an iconic status among Italian desserts. The name of the popular Italian dessert stems from the phrase tira mi sù, an Italian expression in the Vèneto dialect which literally means pick me up. It is most likely a reference to the uplifting effects of the combination of sugar, liquor, and coffee.
This no-bake dessert is made simply by layering Savoiardi or Pavesini ladyfingers soaked in sugar and coffee syrup with rich, velvety mascarpone cheese. For the most authentic flavour, use only the strongest, traditional Italian robust espresso.
The History of Tiramisù
The earliest documented recipe for tiramisù (interestingly, without alcohol!) was printed in the 1981 spring edition of Vin Veneto magazine in an article on coffee-based desserts by Giuseppe Maffioli, a renowned food critic and member of the Italian Academy of Cuisine.
In August 2017, Friuli-Venezia Giulia's tiramisu was officially added to the list of traditional regional dishes, but a Veneto local won the Tiramisu World Cup in November 2017, so the playing field is somewhat levelled once again.
Regardless of these disputes, the perfect tiramisù should always deliver a serious caffeine kick from a shot of strong espresso, while brandy-fortified Marsala wine adds a nice sweet buzz.
Tiramisù, from the original recipe to different versions
The original recipe for tiramisu encompasses the use of few ingredients: egg yolks and sugar mixed together, with the addition of mascarpone and a drop of Marsala wine, giving us the typical tiramisù cream, which must be broken up by biscuits soaked in coffee to create the finished dessert. But then the quintessential classic recipe offers itself to many variations, both when it comes to ingredients and presentation. Two great tributes to the king of Italian desserts, both made by alternating layers of creamy coffee mascarpone with soft layers of sponge cake and espresso coffee: two tasty and delicious versions that lift your spirits with every spoonful!
Do not miss out on the authentic tiramisù of Friuli-Venezia Giulia on your next trip.
Source(s): tasteatlas, rivareno