Vita Gazette

News from Italy


“Tiramisu” or “Cheer me up”

Sweet, gorgeous, greedy and aphrodisiac. The intense taste of coffee, the delicacy of mascarpone and the smell of biscuits come together in Tiramisu, one of the most famous desserts in the world. It is the favorite dessert of the courtiers, as they attribute exciting and aphrodisiac properties. We have compiled the legends about this dessert whose fame has no limits…

Italians and their cuisine… These two words carry our life energy to the highest point. Because for cheerful Italians, cooking should be an art and the dining table should be like a perfect symphony orchestra. As such, every stage of Italian cuisine carries everyone to a peaceful and pleasant island. When food is at the center of life, the “yours and mine” fight is constantly experienced in recipes, just like the dialect differences that surround all regions of Italy.

One of these fights takes place over the legendary Tiramisu, one of the Italian desserts. Who first made this dessert, which literally means “excite me, enliven me, cheer me up, pull me up”, which has the mission of arousing good feelings in the eater, and leaves a strong coffee taste on the palate? Where, how and with what materials was it prepared?

In fact, it is not possible to give a clear answer to these questions. As the taste and fame of Tiramisu traveled around the world, the legends about it increased. According to one of them, the history of the famous dessert dates back to the 17th century, the city of Siena. The famous Tuscan Duke Cosimo III de Medici is a ruler who is very fond of his pleasure, stomach and sexuality. During his visit to Siena, local confectioners make an aphrodisiac cake in his honor. They call it “La Zuppa del Duca” meaning “The Duke’s Soup”. After eating the dessert, the Duke, who has both energy and pleasure, loves this soup. He made the dessert spread all over Italy, the recipe of which he took to Florence. Over time, like the effect of dessert, its name becomes erotic. It becomes known as Tiramisu, meaning to cheer me up.

Stick to its traditions, this dessert, inviting to some Italians both in taste and name, was invented during the reign of Catherine de’ Medici, the queen of many innovations. Catherine also created the Tiramisu dessert while revolutionizing the kitchen.

According to another story, Tiramisu originated in Treviso, Italy’s 19th-century province famous for its brothels. It was noticed that the combination of its products, namely espresso, mascarpone, egg, sugar, savoiardi and cocoa, turned into an aphrodisiac dessert and it was first served in brothels. Proponents of this view point to the dialect used to mean “supply to Tirime – Pull me up” as evidence.

According to one claim, Tiramisu was definitely born in Northern Italy, in the Friuli Venezia Giulia or Veneto region. Its origin is probably attributed to the Veneto region, more precisely the city of Treviso. According to those who make this claim, Roberto Linguanotto, the famous pastry chef named Loli, created this dessert inspired by “sbatudin” in his restaurant “Alle Baccherie”. Another restaurant in the city of Treviso claims the paternity of Tiramisu. The restaurant in question is Al Camin. Owner Speranza Bon prepared the Imperial Cup on the occasion of a queen’s visit to the city in the 1950s.

Those who refer to the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of tiramisu give the dessert called Vetturino coppa made with chocolate mousse, sponge cake dipped in Marsala, zabaglione and whipped cream at the restaurant “Il Vetturino” in the city of Pieris as the reason. Later, the materials were changed and the dialectical name of “Coppa Vetturino Tiime water” became “Tirime water-Pull me up” and then “Tiramisù” again.

According to Italian food writer Anna Maria Volpi, Tiramisu is not found in old Italian cookbooks. Based on this, he says that Tiramisu is not a deep-rooted dessert, but is creative because it is a new version of a similar dessert. The dessert he’s talking about is “Zuppa Inglese”, that is, English Soup. This is a layered cake like tiramisu. Prepared from jam and liqueur, this dessert resembles Zuppa del Duca, the recipe of which the Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de Medici took to Florence.

In short, Tiramisu is a dessert that is distinguished by its origins, but combines Italian with its simplicity, delicacy and flavor. The ingredients in it also describe Italy. The typical dessert of Italy is formed with Marsala from Sicily, Savoiardi from Piedmont, Mascarpone from Lombardy, cocoa from Liguria, coffee from Venice.


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