Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

The ultimate coffee dessert – Tiramisu (Bless you)

The ultimate coffee dessert – Tiramisu (Bless you)
With its smooth creamy texture and intense rich taste, there’s no argument that tiramisu is one of Italy’s favorite desserts. What is up for debate however, are its origins. Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and Toscana all lay claim to the creation of tiramisu, with various chefs and bakers raising their hands to say they invented it. While it’s hard to verify who exactly did invent the dessert, it’s pretty clear that it was first created in the 1960s, and soon became popular across Italy.

The first use of the name ‘tiramisu’ was in a cookbook published in the 1980s, so contrary to what you might think for such a classic dish, it’s actually quite a modern invention. The name itself literally means ‘pick me up’, which is fitting considering the intense coffee flavor, even if the caffeine content may actually be pretty low.

While coffee is the dominant taste, the key ingredients are delicate mascarpone cheese and savoiardi biscuits – which you may know as ‘ladyfingers’. Despite being a classic dish, some chef’s aren’t afraid to create their own versions. Whether adding strawberries and Nutella or substituting mascarpone for ricotta, there’s plenty of room for tiramisu to evolve as it continues to hold its place in Italy’s dessert hall of fame.