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The legends of Tiramisu..

Posted in entertaining, Facts, and history of foods


    This past weekend I dashed over to London to meet an old friend for lunch. Even though it was only my second visit to London, we skipped the usual tourist attractions and instead hit the Tate Gallery and some local hotspots for eating. We concluded our girls’ day on the town at a local cafe luxuriating in layers of tiramisu and cappuccinos.

      I’m a new fan of tiramisu, having only just recently been introduced to it. My friend and I gabbed away the last hours of the day each of us sneaking tiny bites of this rich treat as though we were thieves, until finally we were licking the last bits from our spoons. Looking down surprised at the empty plate my friend wondered out loud about the birth of this dessert.

      After a little internet research into it I ran across a couple of origin tales for tiramisu. One such tale claims the dessert was an invention for the Duke Cosimo de’Medici III on a visit to Tuscany. He loved it so much that he brought it back to Florence where English artists and intellectuals fell all over as well. These English men in turn took tiramisu back to England where the dessert enjoyed a high popularity.

      Another tale involves the women of Northern Italy who prepared the dessert for their men going into battle. The caffeine in the espresso and cocoa was supposed to give their men energy and stamina.

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 The caffeine in my tiramisu also plays a part in my favorite and admittedly more scandalous theory, which involves Venetian courtesans. These women who worked above the cafes supposedly used the tiramisu, which literally means “pick me up”, to provide themselves with a bit of energy to last their whole night of work.

      As the London café closed and my friend and I were swept out to the night’s streets, we left happily with a little buzz from our tiramisu and the warm cappuccinos. It was a delightful end to a chilled rainy London day.

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