Today we would like to talk about the Duchess of Parma, and we imagine that you are thinking:
Parma, Duchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla. In Camper Con Gusto will tell me about Maria Luigia of Austria, in the historic period when she ruled the Duchy, and how the Parmesans of the period came to love this woman who became the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte at the age of nineteen.
Well, in reality, the historic period in which the Duchess of Parma ruled the Duchy actually lasted 30 years, years in which Maria Luigia learnt to love and then transform the Ducal City: she improved the bridges and the roads, she built new buildings such as the Theatre Regio, opened organisations like the Carità (a famous voluntary association) and brought the cultivation of the famous Violet to Parma (now known in fact as the Violet of Parma).
But to discover and know the Duchess of Parma, the best place is without doubt the Glauco Lombardi Museum in Parma. We strongly recommend it to you, and our members can get a discount on the entrance price if you show your membership card.
The Duchess of Parma in the kitchen
Today, however, we would like to recount some stories about the Duchess related to the cuisine of Parma, a cuisine very rich in dishes that you will largely recognise, but maybe there is still something to discover, and we are here to help you to do that.
Let’s start with some second dishes:
Duchess of Parma is the name given to the turkey or veal pastry rolls, filled with Parma Ham, and thin slices of Parmigiano Reggiano. A slice of meat covered with a slice of ham, and then a slice of cheese. Once closed, the roll is brushed with whisked egg and flour and then fried in butter until it browns. The process is completed with some Marsala and milk. There are different ways to make this delight, but all are delicious and simple to make!
Duchess of Parma for the Parmesans also refers to one of our most excellent cakes, that takes time and effort to make, and also to eat! Very rich, it is often eaten after Sunday lunch, when all the family comes together to eat. The history of the Duchess of Parma cake is old and uncertain: some say that it was creaed by the court bakers of Maria Luigia and others claims that it was simply a cake that she loved, that later took her name. The certainty is that this elegant-looking and refined cake, symbol of Parma, is available today in all the cake-shops that sell traditional sweets. DO you want to know what is in it? Here is the recipe as provided by one of the best Parma cake-shops.
Duchess of Parma cake: ingredients for 6/people:
250g icing sugar
250g toasted and shelled nuts
250g dark chocolate
9 candied cherries
100g cake custard
350g zabaglione cream
Chop the nuts finely, add the sugar, work in the butter and finally the flour. Use the rolling pin to roll the worked dough out and cuts three discs to the size of our cakes. Preheat the oven to 200°C and bake your discs in buttered trays for 5 minutes. Melt the chocolate in a pot and add the cake custard. Spread the mix out on one of your baked discs, cover with another and cover again with the zabaglione cream. Close with the final disc, dust with icing sugar, and garnish with candied cherries placed on top of a blob of the chocolate cream.
If you have never visited Parma, you can see many beautiful places to see in the city and the province; but if you already know Parma, you might still be able to gain something from our article to inspire a different type of itinerary, always tied to the city’s history, but the history of its kitchen.
Visit the rest-area at Parma