Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - Page 6 News List

Factory worker wins Italy’s first Tiramisu World Cup


Competitors on Saturday take part on the first day of the two-day Tiramisu World Cup competition in Roncade, near Treviso, Italy.

Photo: AFP

An Italian factory worker on Sunday won the first ever Tiramisu World Cup, beating 700 other amateurs to whip up the softest and creamiest version of Italy’s famous dessert.

Hundreds of would-be dessert maestros descended on the city of Treviso armed with whisks and sieves to compete in the two-day challenge to make the best tiramisu, which means “pick-me-up” in Italian.

The winner, Andrea Ciccolella, 28, hails from Feltre in the Veneto region and works in an eyewear factory.

“My dream is to be a pastry chef and open a small cake shop of my own, where I’d make traditional, home-cooked things. Nothing fancy, but tasty and made well,” she said.

While the northern Italian region, home to Venice, celebrated the sweet taste of victory, the result was likely to embitter residents of neighboring Friuli-Venezia Giulia. A dispute over whether the dessert originates in the Veneto or Friuli region has divided foodies for decades.

Competitors for the prize were split into those following the original recipe — ladyfinger biscuits, mascarpone cheese, eggs, coffee, cocoa powder and sugar — and those getting creative by adding everything from strawberries to green tea.

The prize was awarded by Roberto Linguanotto, a pastry chef who worked in Treviso in the 1960s and 1970s and is considered by Veneto as the man behind the original recipe.

“What gives the final touch to tiramisu is the coffee. It’s expensive because each ladyfinger needs to be dunked in espresso, and you need lots of them: intense, good quality, flavored,” he said.

Friuli scored an important victory in the battle over the birthplace of tiramisu in August, when the dessert was officially inserted into a list of the dishes recognized as traditional of the region.

Veneto officials were outraged, with Governor Luca Zaia calling on Italy’s agriculture and food minister to overturn the decision, saying “no one can swindle us out of tiramisu ... the best dessert in the world.”

Friuli thumbed its nose back and poured salt on the wound when a company in Udine announced last week that it had produced a machine capable of churning out a tiramisu every 30 seconds.

Treviso Mayor Giovanni Manildo side-stepped the debate on Sunday by dubbing his city “the moral capital of tiramisu.”

Italian food writers say tiramisu was created in the 1950s as a stamina-boosting treat for prostitutes to feed clients in Treviso brothels.

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