In Italy, even the flavours of gelato are custom to the whims of fashion. There are a couple of flavours, very common when I was a child in the 1980s, which you very rarely find nowadays, but which for me say still say Italian summer.
One of the hallmarks of Tuscan regional cooking is that a lot of it makes use of stale bread. I recently wrote an article about it outlining some of the traditional soups and salads from the region all with stale bread as their main ingredient. However, it’s not just savory dishes which use it. In many parts of Italy, not just Tuscany, stale bread is used to make cakes, such at the Venetian pinza. Like a lot of dishes which started out in poor kitchens, these bread cakes are now seen as part of the traditional cusine and something to be proud of.
This recipe is from Tuscany.
The colomba is to Italian Easter what the panettone is to Christmas. The name, which means dove, comes from its shape, representing the Holy Spirit, who in the New Testament of the Bible appears in the form of a dove. Like the panettone, the colomba is ubiquitous in the shops in the period leading up to the festival, and it’s notoriously difficult to make. The original recipe requires making three doughs and leaving each to rise for a couple of hours before using it to make the next one.
This recipe is from Campania.
This is the first in a week of Easter themed recipes since we’re only ten days away from the big day. I’ve already shared my recipes for pastiera napoletana and torta pasqualina on the Great Italian Chefs website, so now it’s time for some Easter recipes here.