Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nun's Breasts

Well I just couldn't resist sharing a brief article that appeared in Centro, a local paper in the southern Italian town of Pescara, brought to my attention by Luca Colferai (a Venetian and the primum movens of Il Ridotto). To see the photo gallery associated with the article see this link. The following is a rough and ready translation of the abridged version that comes with the photo gallery, the full article is here:

photo: Federico Deidda

Nuns' Tits, Abruzzo's wicked dessert celebrates 125 years.

A simple but delicious dessert made with just a few quality ingredients: sugar, flour and eggs to make the sponge cake; fresh milk, eggs, lemon zest and flour for the pastry cream. These were created in Naples between 1884 and 1886 by a native of Abruzzo who had come to Naples to learn the secrets of pastry. As for the rest, such as the quantities of the ingredients, this remains a secret passed down from generation to generation, unknown outside pastry shops. The origin of the name of what is now the sweet symbol of the town of
Guardiagrele [a town in Abruzzo] is also a mystery. The first theory is that the original term was "tre monti" [three mountains], which referred to the mountains of the Maiella [now a national park], but was then transformed into nuns' tits by the popular imagination. The second hypothesis originates in the common belief among the laity that nuns, to make their feminine shape less evident, placed a lump of clothes (the third breast) between their breasts. The third theory has it that nuns of the Order of Saint Clare simply invented this sort of sponge cake and thus the association with the sisters. The colloquial name was simply a malicious play on the dessert's shape. Article: Rossano Orlando.

If you're interested in a recipe you could give this one a shot.

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