Tag Archives: Veneto

Is it true that tiramisu has only been around since the 1960s?

image source - flickr.com/photos/peterhess
image source – flickr.com/photos/peterhess

Yes.

Tiramisu is probably the most popular Italian dessert in the U.S., if not the world, so what a surprise to find out that it’s only been around for about 50 years. While some still argue about its exact origin, Biccherie, a restaurant in Treviso, Italy, is widely recognized as the birthplace.

Legend has it that the owner of Biccherie created the dessert to give herself energy after having just given birth to her son. Tiramisu, which translates to “pick me up”, is traditionally made with coffee, savoiardi (ladyfingers), mascarpone cheese, and cocoa powder. Last summer, Biccherie presented a bid to the European Union to grant protected status to its recipe preventing it from being made with berries or cream.

Despite being a once-popular destination in Treviso, which is in the Veneto region, Biccherie has recently suffered a large decline in business and will be closing its doors after 76 years. The tiramisu will surely live on forever.

Isn’t Prosecco just Italian Champagne?

image source - flickr.com/photos/heliocentric
image source – flickr.com/photos/heliocentric

Other than both being sparkling wine, no.

Champagne is undoubtedly the king of sparkling wine. Three things must be true for a sparkling wine to be called Champagne. First, it must be produced in the Champagne region of France…no ifs, ands, or buts. It must also be made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Pinot Meunier grapes. Finally, Champagne can only be fermented using the Champenoise method which is a two step fermentation process: first in barrels, then in bottles. Anything else, even in France, is just sparkling wine.

None of these things are true about Prosecco. First of all, Prosecco is named for both the grape (now known as Glera) and area in the Veneto region of Italy where it is produced. To be a true Prosecco, at least 85% of this grape must be used. Fermentation is done using the Charmat method which is also a two step fermentation, but both take place in stainless steel vats.

Prosecco is meant to be drunk when it is young and fresh, so the production process is usually faster than that of Champagne. That is why most Prosecco is modestly priced while finer Champagnes can be quite expensive.

Cin cin!