Where tiramisu came from?


Tiramisu is widely regarded as the quintessential Italian dessert.  In fact, it’s one of the most recognized Italian words among non-Italians worldwide (along with spaghetti, pizza, espresso, and mozzarella–who says we’re obsessed with food?).  Traditionally made with ladyfingers or sponge cake dipped in coffee and layered with a creamy mix of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese and sprinkled with cocoa powder, it’s hard not to like tiramisu.  Some variations add rum, marsala, or a coffee liqueur.  While many have accepted that there is no one true recipe for “real” tiramisu, the debate over its origins is far less settled.

 

The northeast region of Veneto claims that tiramisu was invented in its town of Treviso during the late 1960s or early 1970s.  They insist that tiramisu was first introduced at a trattoria (casual cafe or diner type of restaurant) called Le Beccherie.  One story states that a new mother invented the dessert in an effort to boost her energy after her son’s birth.  Tiramisu does mean “pick-me-up,” so that theory seems plausible.  Another version of that origin story claims that the owner of the restaurant had an apprentice whose maiden name was Tiramisu and that the two of them invented the dessert together.  Yet another story has the owner of a nearby bakery claiming that while the first tiramisu was, in fact, sold at Le Beccherie in Treviso, it wasn’t made there.  Instead, this baker claims that he invented tiramisu on Christmas Eve 1969 and that it was his confection that Le Beccherie sold.  The area has long lobbied for the European Union to officially recognize Treviso as the true birthplace of tiramisu just as Naples successfully lobbied to be recognized as the birthplace of pizza.

 

Recent research, vehemently refuted by Treviso’s residents, suggests that tiramisu actually first appeared in the nearby region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia during the 1950s.  Evidence has been found of recipes for “tirime su” produced by a chef in this region, in a village near the Slovenian border.  Another recipe for “tirime su” that resembles tiramisu in terms of ingredients and compilation seems to have been served in Tolmezzo, a town not far from the Austrian border, in the late 1950s.

 

There are some anecdotal sources that claim the cake goes back as far as the late 1600s, but there are no printed records or recipes to support this claim.  Another strictly anecdotal claim is that the dessert was actually invented as an energy-boosting snack for prostitutes in the 1950s.  Again, there’s no documentation to support this particular claim, and none seem eager to embrace the theory.

The first appearance of any recipes bearing the name of tiramisu in cookbooks wasn’t until the 1960s.  This would seem to indicate that perhaps Treviso wasn’t the true birthplace of this Italian treat since they claim that they invented it late during that decade or early the next (after recipes for it were already in print).  

 

Regardless of any proof, no matter how substantial or incontrovertible, and regardless of any official title being bestowed by any governing body, the bittersweet battle over the birthplace of tiramisu is likely to continue.  I say let’s settle the debate with a good old-fashioned taste test.  At the sites claiming creation.  I’ll be the judge.  And if it’s a tie, I’ll just have to have another bite or two.  

 

What I always bring on a hunt

 

If you’re new to hunting, packing your gear bag can actually be one of your biggest challenges.  Pack too much, and you’ll be carrying around a bunch of extra weight and will likely have a hard time finding what you need when you need it.  Pack too little, and you could find yourself missing things you were sure you wouldn’t need.  While some seasoned hunters take packing light to the extreme, the possibility always exists that you’ll run into some kind of trouble or situation that you can’t handle with the two or three items you can fit in your pockets.  Below, we’ll look at the things that all hunters should have on the “things to bring” list.  

 

Light

You should always pack a light source, preferably a flashlight.  Even if you don’t intend to start hunting until after daybreak and are certain you’ll be home before dark, bring a flashlight.  If you lose track of time, you might need to find your way in the dark.  If you’re hunting alone and get hurt or lost, a flashlight could serve as a beacon.  You should also always have fire-starting materials like a lighter or matches.  Again, if your plans go south, especially during winter, being able to start a fire could be a lifesaver.  Keep your matches or lighter in a waterproof container–just in case.

 

Food and water

While some hunters opt not to eat or drink while hunting, it’s a good idea to have at least one or two protein or energy bars in your pack.  Not only will this mean you have something to eat if you do happen to get lost or otherwise stranded, but we all know that being hungry can cause us to lose focus and do some goofy things.  Dehydration is something else that can get in the way of a good day.  Dehydration can lead to headaches and increased muscle stiffness in addition to thirst, which can be distracting.  And, again, getting stranded with no water can make a really bad night even worse.  You might also want to bring along an empty bottle to serve as a urinal.  Just make sure you keep track of which bottle is which.

 

Compass

Even hunters in areas they’re certain they could hunt blindfolded can get lost.  Being tired after a long day (and hungry and dehydrated if you didn’t bring anything to eat or drink) can make it easy to get disoriented, even in the most familiar terrain.  Add in a sudden weather change that blocks the sun (or moon and stars) or an injury that has you distracted, and getting lost can be easier than you might think.  A compass can help you get and keep your bearings instead of wandering around aimlessly.

 

Safety gear

If you’ll be up in a stand, a safety harness is a must.  Put it on before you climb.  Don’t take it off until you’re back on the ground.  It doesn’t take much imagination to come up with any number of scenarios where a harness can save your life.  You should also always have a knife that you can reach easily (on your person as opposed to in a bag).  This can help if you get tangled up in an improperly-worn or broken harness or somehow find yourself tangled up in brush or brambles on the ground.  A vest or other article of clothing in that lovely shade of safety orange is another must.  Deer don’t see colors the way we do.  Bright orange doesn’t look like bright orange to them, so it won’t scare them off, but it will make it easier for other hunters in the area to spot you, which could help searchers find you if you get lost or injured.  And it could keep you from getting shot.

 

Add a quality rangefinder to your bag, and you’re pretty well set.  Yes, other hunters will have their own must-haves, and you might come up with more of your own, but this list represents the bare minimum.  This list plus some common sense and safe hunting practices.