For most of us, the much-loved Italian trifle tiramisu, which translates as “pick-me-up”, also translates to pure joy upon eating. But recently just the mention of the dessert’s name can raise the hackles of some residents of the northern Italian city of Treviso, near Venice, and none more publicly than the president of the Veneto region, Luca Zaia.
Two things about tiramisu irk Mr Zaia. The first is when people claim the dessert was not first created in Treviso, as food writers Clara and Gigi Padovani have in their book Tiramisu: History, curiosities and interpretations of Italy’s best-loved dessert. The Padovani’s unearthed recipes from the 1950s—thought to be the first written evidence of the dessert’s existence—produced in San Canzian D’Isonzo village. Mr Zaia scoffs at the thought, insisting tiramisu was invented at a Treviso trattoria in the 1970s.
The second thing about tiramisu that makes Mr Zaia cross is when people taint the tiramisu name by adding strawberries or cream to the recipe. What would he think of our raspberry version? Mr Zaia leads a campaign to have the dessert certified Traditional Speciality Guaranteed, following the European Union’s recognition of the pizza napoletana as certified TSG, which attests that the dish will have certain characteristics because it is made only with particular raw ingredients—usually only available in the region that is seeking the certification.
While Mr Zaia trifles with the ownership of a trifle, let’s raise a dessert spoon to kitchen creativity, and enjoy this sensational summery egg-free tiramisu made with raspberries and cream.
Choose a glass bowl, so you can see the layers, at least 22 centimetres wide; an old-fashioned trifle bowl would be perfect.