Italy’s father’s “Pick Me Up” dessert, tiramisu, has passed away

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Sad news for dessert lovers around the world, Ado Campeol, widely regarded as “the father of tiramisu”, has passed away at the age of 93.

The ’70s treat – coffee-soaked sponge fingers loaded with a rich mascarpone cream – was originally on the menu at his family-run restaurant, Le Beccherie, in the northern city of Treviso. is from Italy, and today it is one of the county’s most famous exports.

Like many famous dishes, the origin story of tiramisu – like its ingredients – remains controversial, but Campeol and his wife Alba are credited with legitimizing the dessert by being the first to put it on their menu. In 2010, a delegation from the Italian Cooking Academy certified the restaurant’s version of the recipe, naming pastry chef Roberto Linguanotto as its creator (although it is widely said that he co-created the dish with Alba Campeol).

The Accademia del Tiramisu, an independent organization devoted exclusively to pudding and its history, claims that the combination of mascarpone, sugar, coffee and cookies has long been used in the Italian region of Veneto as a tonic – sometimes served as a tonic. recharge to customers exhausted after coitus in ladies brothel, or to breastfeeding mothers to maintain their milk supply and energy. Its name is derived from the expression “tireme su” – literally “lift me up” in the Treviso dialect.

According to the Campeols’ son Carlo, who now runs the restaurant, Alba was familiar with the local pick-me-up. As a new mom – shortly before the dish was added to the Beccherie menu in 1972 – she munched on a mix of key tiramisu ingredients (mascarpone, sugar, cookies and coffee) made by her mother-in-law every day. mornings for breakfast.

By the mid-1980s, the dessert had crossed the Atlantic and was causing a sensation in New York City, with controversies over how to prepare it and what exactly it was. In 1985 the New York Times published a story that attempts to unravel the mysteries of a “deceptively airy but shamefully rich creation in the mousse-pudding family of at least 200 variations.” He said the dish was barely known in the city a few years earlier, with a New York chef claiming it was the first Italian dessert to rival French cuisine for international attention.

It is a debate that continues to rage. In 2013, Luca Zaia, longtime governor of the dish’s region of origin, Veneto, led a campaign to protect the recipe from glaring mutations, especially the unacceptable addition of strawberries and cream.

Less concerned with the sacredness of the dish, the Tiramisu World Cup – which has been taking place since 2017, when Linguanotto was leading the jury – is surely the biggest amateur tiramisu competition in the world. While the experimental category allows for almost anything to be included, it still adheres to the essence of the recipe and prohibits the omission of one of the basic ingredients: mascarpone, coffee, cocoa and eggs. Yellows are also compulsory and competitors are judged according to discouraging evaluation criteria such as “harmony of tastes and perception of lightness”.

To see how popular tiramisu is in Australia, just check out our Google search statistics. We look for it much more often than most other Italian desserts, and over the past 15 years it has consistently outperformed ice cream, panna cotta, cannoli, and affogato in our candy-related surveys, reliably achieving peaking as Christmas approaches each year. .

Do you like tiramisu? Find six recipes here.


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