• by Marilyn Garcia

Who invented Tiramisu, then?

Tiramisu is made of layers of Savoiardi ladyfingers biscuits dipped one by one in a whipped mixture of mascarpone cream cheese and espresso with coffee flavoured liqueur- Marsala wine and a sprinkle of chocolate powder or cocoa dust.

There's a history behind every icon, and so Tiramisu has it's own. Starting from its name, "tiramisu" in Italian means " pull it up" or "pull me up" isn't it sounds like an energy booster?

In the early 1970s, a restaurant in Treviso called "Le Beccherie" came up with "Tiramisu" on their menu and has taken totally credits for the invention of the popular dessert from several Italian magazines and cookbooks. In the 1980s " El Toula" got the credit from cookbook authors Claudia Roden and Anna del Conte as well as from Saveur magazine. As its popularity began, a man called Carminantonio Iannaccone claims he is the inventor of the dessert.

According to the article, "The Trail of Tiramisu", by Jane Black, Washington Post newspaper, July 11, 2007. Iannaccone said, "El Toula was after us,". "They print it because it is famous, We're not famous and we don't care." Arturo Filippini, owner of "El Toul" was reached by the phone and admitted that El Toula had only "contributed" to the development of tiramisu. As far as he knew, it was invented "sometime in the 1950s".

“Iannaccone’s story is simple, He trained as a pastry chef in the southern city of Avellino, then migrated to Milan to find work at the age of 12. In 1969 he married his wife, Bruna, and opened a restaurant also called Piedigrotta in Treviso, where he cooked up a dessert based on the everyday flavours of the region (strong coffee, creamy mascarpone, eggs, Marsala and ladyfinger cookies). He says it took him two years to perfect the recipe, which was originally served as an elegant, freestanding cake, says Jane. Jane goes to Pietro Mascioni for help and says he became "an amateur tiramisu-ologist" After reading about Iannaccone's claim.

On the other hand, Researcher Pietro Mascioni traces the dessert back to the 1960’s to a town in Tuscany called Treviso: “Born recently, less than two decades ago, in the city of Treviso, is a dessert called Tiramesu which was made for the first time in a restaurant, Alle Beccherie, by a pastry chef called Loly Linguanotto. The story is very credible, said Mascioni, who travelled to Treviso to talk to the Campeols last fall. There, matriarch Alba Campeol told Mascioni that she got the idea for the dessert after the birth of one of her children. She was very weak in bed and her mother-in-law brought her a zabaglione, spiked with coffee to give her energy. (In her book, Bastianich gives credit to Garatti, writing that she was thrilled when Tonon "passed on to me the original assemblage of ladyfingers and mascarpone cream.")

Related to one of the latest articles " The sexy history behind this popular Italian dessert", by Silvia Marchetti published on January 12, 2017.

"The lady at that time was pregnant and after giving birth to a baby boy, she tested “sbatudìn” and found it restored her body after labour. Then, together with a cook, she perfected the recipe and started making it inside her restaurant and serving it for the first time to people who had never set foot in a brothel."

If you think about it, also related to what the owner of El Toula, Arturo Filippini said when reached by phone in Treviso "Sometime in the 1950s" in a casa chiuso.

Guess what, In 1958 the dessert was served to energize tired clients inside a brothel and gain more money. Its name makes sense, then! As I mentioned before, " sounds like an energy booster to me".

The original brothel recipe was called “sbatudìn” which means “gimme a shake- bang me”.The “sbatudìn” was an energetic mixture made of shaken egg yolk and sugar, Savoiardi ladyfingers, mascarpone cream, and coffee were added later. The objective here was to keep the sex, and thus the business. It's a fact that the brothels had contracts with local farmers to bring them fresh eggs every day. The government shut all “pleasure-houses” in 1958, but a lady and her husband (which more likely had visited a brothel)knew the worth of the recipe and recreated it. Le Beccherie (nowadays Restaurant)was the brothel in the town of Treviso where tiramisu back then was given to revitalize its clients and now days is served as a dessert.

According to "The Timeless Art of Italian Cuisine – Centuries of Scrumptious Dining"by Anna Maria Volpi, from her research of the tiramisu history states that "Alba and Ado Campeol, owners of the restaurant Le Beccherie regret they did not patent the name and the recipe, especially to avoid all the speculation and guesses on the origin of this cake and the diffusion of so many recipes that have nothing to do with the original Tiramisu.”

On the other hand, There's a dessert recipe very alike to tiramisu from the 17th century... 17th century!!!. Created in Siena, in the northwestern Italian province of Tuscany. The occasion was a visit by Grand Duke Cosimo de’ Medici III (1642-1723), whose honour developed the “duke’s soup”. A throwback to when Chef.Dirk Noort said in Butchery course that most of the popular recipes were created for Royalty family's special occasions.

He brought the recipe in his return to Florence and in the 19th century, tiramisu became extremely popular in Florence making its path to England. I couldn't find credibility in the sources of this story, yet it is very popular... Legend or myth I guess.

Still, Indeed, It was such a journey in research. Let me know who do you think deserves the credit as the inventor of the iconic recipe and comment down below!

P.D: sounds like brothels above everyone to me.

Carminantonio's Tiramisu recipe:


Thanks for visiting!

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