With ladyfigners or pavesini. With or without whip. Classic or decomposed. With pistachio or strawberries. Matcha tea or nutella. With raw eggs or pate à bombe. Whichever way you prepare it, tiramisu is and remains the dessert that no one can give up. The excellence of the most famous Italian pastry in the world. To prove it, a study by the Accademia Italiana della Crusca according to which tiramisu is the fifth most known Italian word abroad related to cuisine and it is present as gastronomic Italianism in 23 languages.
The spoon dessert with layers of biscuits soaked in coffee alternated with layers of cream with mascarpone, sugar and eggs, closed with a sprinkle of bitter cocoa, has even a day dedicated to him. On March 21st, along with spring, the tiramisu day is celebrated. The most famous Italian dessert in the world and, in 2017, the most orderly one at home in Italy (9,400 kg), could not fail to be celebrated with dignity.
A curious legend
The etymology of the word is easy to understand: pull me up, lift me (the soul or the body). A curious legend reveals that the name of the dessert is not at all random. It is said to be born as “natural viagra”. The mastermind of the dessert made with beaten eggs, coffee and biscuits seems to have been a maitresse of a pleasure house. She thought an energetic and reinforcing dessert to offer to customers at the end of the evening, served with the sentence “desso ve tiro su mi“, in order to corroborate them before their return to the family.
The origin of tiramisu
Many of us wonder: who should we thank for having invented this delight for our palates?
Scholars of the subject have identified a document dating back to 1952, in which the term tiramisu appears for the first time. This is the menu of a restaurant in Tolmezzo, in the province of Udine. A receipt, dated December 13, 1959, also emerges from this place, the word tiramisu appears again among the entries.
Mrs Norma Pielli, owner of the Roma Restaurant, reworked the Dolce Torino, a dessert made with biscuits soaked in Alchèrmes and butter cream. The chef replaced the red liqueur with the coffee and the butter cream with a mascarpone, egg yolks and whipped egg whites. The customers of the restaurant went crazy for this recipe, they noticed the reinforcing properties of this sweet that “pulled them up”. Within a few years they no longer required it as “Trancia al mascarpone”, the name that appeared on the menu, but as a tiramisu.
The Treviso origins
Other sources say that the dessert was born in Treviso in the Al Fogher restaurant. A princess arriving from Greece stopped for lunch one day in 1958. Speranza Bon, the mistress, prepared the “Imperial Cup” for the special occasion: a single portion with a base of coffee-soaked sponge cake filled with mascarpone cream and egg yolks .
The Alle Beccherie restaurant also contends the originality of the recipe. Tiremesù of this kitchen was mentioned for the first time in 1981 in a magazine. The casual birth of the cake was told by Alba Campeol, starting from the revisitation of sbattutin, the beaten egg that was taken at breakfast, in addition to coffee. A chef revisited the recipe, from which he removed the egg whites, and inserted it in the fixed menu with the name “Tiramesù dolce Gioioso et Amoroso“.
Diatribes on the paternity of the tiramisu
The opening of a Tiramisu Museum is being planned in Treviso. Anticipated, however, by the establishment of a desk at the Casa dei Carraresi opened to anyone who wants to bring testimonies, photos, anecdotes about the dessert and talk with Carlo Campeol, the son of the women who codified the recipe.
The purpose is to claim the paternity of the dessert that the Ministry of Agriculture in 2010 attributed, instead, to the Friulian city, bringing as proof the receipt of the 1950s. Campeol himself presented as a counter-proof a notarial deed from the Italian Academy of Cuisine in which it is written that the original recipe of “Tirame su” is that of his family restaurant.