The taste and passion for cooking have always led us to travel miles in search of places where to taste Italian delicacies; and so we went to discover the sweets of the Mantua tradition and precisely we stopped at sandy.
Talking about sandy, ideal city, surrounded by hexagonal walls and designed by vespasiano Gonzaga Colonna in 1531 and completed in 35 years is not our aim, even if it is the stage today. Surely when we have all passed this long period of mandatory detention, it will be just from sandoneta that we want instead to leave for a next meeting of our Association.
We arrived in this town nestled in the Lombardy plain a few kilometers from the Po and on the border with the province of Parma, to discover the traditional sweets of this cuisine, well known for the salty dishes. Sbrisolona apart in fact, little is known of the extraordinary typical sweets, treasures of tradition and history.
In the small town a display cabinet of sweets, since 1976 stands out immediately among the signs of antique dealers who are in high presence here. We enter to discover which are the traditional sweets that their confectionery has.
Immediately he lists us:
Ring of Monaco
Cake of the roses
Pie of tagliatelle
Sweets of tradition: a bit of history
Many of the desserts shown here know them well too; although being Emilian, even in our countryside in the simple and peasant tradition, prepared the cake of tagliatelle and the bussolano (from us is the Bùsilàn), or the Cake paradise.
In the Apennines, however, it was easy to find the Greek Cake, which has another name here, and which was imported to Mantua by a pastry chef from Thessaloniki.
Instead we are struck by the Helvetia Cake and the Ring of Monaco that in the names remind us of distant places.
In 1700 many Swiss pastry chefs emigrated, and several came to Italy. Adolf putscher, originally from Graubünden, moved to Mantua where he opened a pastry shop that soon became famous throughout the territory.
Even in the Lunigiana before and in the Parma then, a family of Swiss pastry chefs moved with a special traditional cake: the Amor, become so famous over time to make it a popular holiday.
Returning to our pastry chef and to the traditional sweets of Mantua, there are two desserts that connect to him:
Ring of Monaco
On this cake, produced mainly from October to March, it is said that a Benedictine monk, in order to create a variant to a leavened cake, has given vent to the imagination, creating an extremely leavened dough. Enriched the whole with a stuffing of hazelnuts and chopped almonds. Actually, it seems to be a reinterpretation of the well-known sweet Gugelhupt.
The Monaco ring has an unmistakable aroma created by the long leavening, which takes place using sourdough and a particular filling of hazelnut cream, which is then manually braided in the preparation of the dough. Inserted in a ring mould that gives the typical shape, at the end of cooking is covered with a crown of white icing.
This cake is considered among the sweets of Mantua , the most delicious; it seems that the family putscher created it to remember its origin.
It is prepared with superposed discs of dough, made of chopped almonds, egg whites whipped to snow and sugar, among which are inserted layers of cream of butter, zabaglione and chocolate granules. The typical border is made of butter cream and chopped hazelnuts.
Both these desserts have become symbols of the sweets of the tradition of this territory, although they were not created by local pastry chefs.
Once again the kitchen, as well as art and culture, go beyond geographical, social boundaries