Food Bites: Tiramisu

Food Bites: Tiramisu

Exploring History: When and where was the tiramisu first created?

Unlike most traditional Italian dishes with a history dating back many centuries ago, the tiramisu seems to be a relatively recent creation. Food historians have indicated that the creation of the tiramisu may have occurred during the late 1970’s or early 1980’s in northern Italy, as the earliest recipes of this dessert were found in some Italian food magazines of that time.

Other sources have mentioned that the tiramisu was possibly created way before the 1970’s, in a period as far back as the seventeenth century. It was believed that the tiramisu originated from the Italian regions of Veneto or Tuscany.

Disputing these Claims

However, such claims seem unlikely, judging by the types of ingredients used in preparing the tiramisu. It would have been a feat to create the tiramisu in Tuscany, as ingredients such as the mascarpone cheese and Savoiardi biscuits were not available in the region at that time.

In addition, coffee was used exclusively in the preparation of beverages in the past, and was not regarded as an ingredient for cooking or baking. Therefore, it would have been highly impossible to prepare the tiramisu in those times.

Variations: Deviating from the traditional recipe

The traditional tiramisu recipes call for the use of Savoiardi biscuits, egg yolks, sugar, coffee, mascarpone cheese and cocoa powder.

These days, a wide array of variations to this traditional recipe can be easily found. There is the chocolate tiramisu, whereby dense and dark chocolate replaces the use of coffee. A tart and light alternative would be the fruit tiramisu, containing a selection of zesty fruits, such as berries, apricots and peaches.

We have also been told of the ch’tiramisu, a French twist to the Italian dessert.

What is the difference between the tiramisu and ch’tiramisu, you may ask.

Well, there are no major changes in the recipe. The main difference is that the French version replaces the Savoiardi biscuit with Speculoos, a biscuit that is found only in France, Belgium and The Netherlands.

Can’t resist the siren call of this tempting dessert? Our BonAppetour hosts, Susanna and Simona, can satisfy your tiramisu craving! also take a look at our BonAppetour hosts in Italy (e.g. Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, …)

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Coffee Culture in Italy

Coffee Culture in Italy

Prendiamo un caffè?” (Fancy a coffee?)

It is a well-known fact that the Italians love their coffees. They have also invented a coffee culture that is unparalleled to any other place in the world.

The coffee drinking habits and culture of the Italians may not be easy for foreigners to understand (is it really odd to have a cappuccino or caffé latte during the afternoon?), but these habits are considered as the norm in Italy.

As the saying goes, when you are in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Italy, drink coffee as the Italians do (this will save you from more than a few curious stares and raised eye brows!).

The Five Coffee Commandments

1. Do not order yourself a cappuccino, caffé latte, or any other milky variations of coffee after the morning has passed. The Italians cannot stomach the idea of consuming hot milk after having a full meal.

2. An espresso is the default cup of coffee you will get when you order yourself a serving in coffee places throughout the country. The term ‘espresso’ is not used – instead, locals place orders for their coffee with the term ‘un caffè’, which refers to a single espresso.

3. A single espresso may not look like much, but do not belittle this tiny cup of caffeine, for an Italian espresso is known to pack a powerful punch.

If you think you are in need of a huge jolt of energy, you may choose to order a double espresso (un caffè doppio). However, do note that this is uncommon among the locals. The Italians do drink ample amounts of coffee, but they usually consume them in small doses throughout the day.

4. Like your coffee strong, but want to have something other than an espresso? Order yourself a cup of caffè lungo, which is an espresso with hot water added to it. This beverage is less diluted compared to the caffè americano.

5. If you really cannot imagine having coffee without a single drop of milk, a cup of caffè macchiato will float your boat. This coffee, unlike the type of macchiato that is served in places outside of Italy, refers to an espresso containing a tiny froth of milk.

Enjoy your coffee the Italian way with our BonAppetour hosts, Francesca and Cristina! Even if you are not a fan of coffee, check out other BonAppetour dining experiences in Italy!

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