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Venezia, Casanova and Zuppa Inglese oh my!!

Posted in recipes, and Travel & customs

Sooner or later it had to happen, in this beautiful magnificent old unfortunately crumbling city..a city resistant to change. Venice has their first woman gondolier. The first woman to serve on tables at St. Mark’s Square was given her job just a few years ago even though the cafe has been open since 1721.

What would Casanova-one of Venice most famous citizens would have said or thought? Of course many historians have said that Giacomo Casanova was a womanizer. He used charm, guile ,threats,intimidation and aggression when necessary to conquer women. Not unlike the experience that Ms. Hai claims to have had with the gondoliers association in Venice (of course all men).

Venice is a city of marvel and is simply magical bridging the past with the present (with an emphasis on the past). Venice is a city in the middle of the sea surrounded by buildings from the 13th-19th centuries. The buildings not unllike Venice old and antique have permeated an antiquated attitude throughout the city as well.

Of course there are other historians that claim that women only used Casanova to get what they want and get introduced to other for their own personal gain. To his defence some of these historians are women.

Is history repeating itself?- there is a faction that is accusing Ms. Hai (the first female gondolier) of becoming a gondolier to get attention from the media and that she could never pass the gondolier’s test. Ms. Hai accuses the all male gondolier association of being sexist and trying to undermine any tests she took to become a gondolier and vandalizing her gondola.

Who is using who??

And the Casanova myth continues. to permeate the streets of Venice where an unwavering antiquated mentality still exists… in honor of this wonderful occasion here is a recipe to celebrate that originates out of Venice. it is the Italian version of an English trifle:

Zuppa Inglese


2 tblsps. corn meal , 2 cups milk, 2 eggs, 1 oz sugar, grated lemon rind, nutmeg, 8 ounces fresh strawberries, 16 sponge type ladyfingers or savoiardi, amaretto liqueur, 1/2 cup cream



Mix the cornflour with a little milk. Beat the eggs, sugar, lemon rind and nutmeg together and pour in the remaining milk.

Mix both the cornflour mixture and the egg mixture together in a pan and stir over a gentle heat to thicken.

Let it come to the boil for 1 minute.

Place a sheet of wax paper onto the custard and allow it to cool.

Place ladyfingers/savoiardi in the bottom of a glass bowl and moistenthem with amaretto.Cut the strawberries in half and place a layer on top of the lady fingers.

Pour a layer of custard over the top and repeat the custard/strawberry process until you have reached the top of the bowl.

Top with custard and place in the refrigerator to set for approx 2 hours.


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