Italian Food, Life in Italy

American style tiramisu, not such a good idea.

Today is Sunday and on Sunday we eat a lot. There are always two or three desserts served at lunch because Italians like to celebrate the fact that it’s a day off. When I was growing up we didn’t eat dessert unless there was an occasion, so living here has been a big change in the food area. I feel like my in-laws are always trying to shove some kind of dessert down my throat. Today however, I made an American style tiramisu (or what we would call a triffle cake).  I twisted this Italian classic by soaking chocolate chip cookies in the espresso and adding a layer of strawberries. My family thought the strawberry addition was very interesting and unheard of (Italians don’t eat berries with whipped cream but powdered sugar instead). So here are a few pics of my little creation.

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So after trying this out, I realized it was kind of a failure. The cookies crumbled and didn’t work like a sponge to soak up the espresso. I also put way too much cream in between layers and when I took a bite it seemed like I was eating mostly cream. Bummer. It wasn’t really all that spectacular and didn’t have a wow factor. It just looked nice. Oh well, the vision was there and I’m sure it will be super good next time. I guess I’ve learned some do’s and don’ts about tiramisu.  However, if you want to know the recipe for a classic tiramisu that I made last week then just go to my last blog post “Tiramisu recipe straight from southern Italy.”

Anyways, I’d like to post some pics of other food we ate today. Below is a lasagna that my husband’s aunt made. She put sausage, eggplant, and zucchini in it with a white sauce. It was so unique and had a very good flavor! I told her to call me over next time she makes this. She lives upstairs in our villa so I’m sure she will literally call me… “Jesssiicaaaa, vieni”

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Here is a more up close and personal look. We often have two types of pastas as well on Sundays. Did I mention that Italians are obsessed with food and over eaters? 🙂 They go a little overboard pretty much all the time for no occasion at all. But, I don’t see a problem with passion. Anyhow we have the zucchini lasagna on the right and a baked pasta on the left with a traditional bolognese sauce. They just plated it up on the same plate. Hint, it’s O.K. to put two pastas on the same plate, but don’t ever put pasta and meat on the same plate! They don’t like that very much. So particular about their food, you could almost say they’re related to the French, heheh. That’s one thing I don’t get, why are the French known for being cheese lovers? Have people never been to Italy and seen men eat whole, one pound mozzarella balls as appetizers? That still drives me nuts. My husband complains about stomach problems and not being able to digest food and I’ve told him “maybe you shouldn’t eat pounds of cheese…” Eating pounds of cheese is completely normal here, it is not double looked at, doesn’t come across as gross, and is socially acceptable. That’s one thing about Italian eating that I’m still socially trying to accept.

Moving on, we also ate these little pastries that are tradition for Father’s day. They are called Zeppole.

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We also had an apple cake made from the famous blender called the Bimby.  This apple cake is covered in powdered sugar, like most Italian desserts. That is one major difference in American and Italian cooking; Italians bake cakes with powdered sugar as a garnish, and Americans bake cakes with icing as a garnish.

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Here is a pic of the Bimby mixer I was talking about. The Bimby is called the Thermo-mixer in Europe. It is a fabulous mixer machine that can cook, knead, steam, chop,  and talk. No, I’m kidding it doesn’t talk. Maybe the next one will 🙂 But it does it all and is almost a necessity in cooking just like the Kitchen Aid electric mixer is to Americans.

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Happy weekend!

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8 thoughts on “American style tiramisu, not such a good idea.”

    1. Thanks Margie. I really want to experiment with artichokes and eggplant but I’m still waiting for someone to show me. I could just look in a book but that’s not what I want…I want something authentically Italian that I learned from here you know. Soon enough I’ll get that figured out and post about it!

  1. Enjoyed reading your blog. I went to Italy 2yrs ago on a guided tour of Northern Italy to Rome and later went down to la basilicata to visit family. I noticed every region had a particular way of preparing a dish. In Venice we had Lasagna which had little meat and a white sauce (maybe it was beschamel) it was great. But, when with family in Southern Italy it had more meat, ricotta and more tomato sauce and it was also delicious. Your lasagna also looks great & I will try doing it. I love eating le zeppole di San Guiseppe but from your picture they are prettier & must be more favorful!

    P.S. I’m from Montreal & what I miss are the desserts & gelatos made with the fruit cedro. Wondering, if you’ve tasted this wonderful fruit & desserts?

    Always looking forward to your next blog!

    1. Thanks so much Mary, I’m glad you like reading my blog, makes me feel like I’m not writing in vain 🙂 You know it’s true that each region is a little different in cooking style, there is also a particular dish from each region. For example, lasagna came from Rome, pesto is from Genoa, orecchiette pasta is from the region of Puglia, limoncello, lemons, and arancini are famous from Sicily, pizza originated from Naples, and prosciutto and parmesan cheese are the best in Parma. The South is famous for eating more anyway. Northerners have told me this many times. Anyways, I didn’t make the zeppole, we bought them from a baker but they were so good.

      That gelato cedro doesn’t ring a bell. I can’t say I’ve ever had it. I have had many other fruit flavors though, melon is my favorite.

  2. I’m not a fan of tiramisu because of the soggy sponge at the bottom. Bleurgh. So actually yours sounds kind of good if the cookies crumbled rather than going soft – might have to give it a try. 🙂

    Cedri grow down here in Sicilia – they’re like giant lemons. Delicious sliced up thinly with fennel, but most people here either make them into cedrata (like limoncello) or frutta candita. However, going against the flow, I made one into marmellata and thence into a twist on Bakewell tart the other week and it was delicious.

    1. Well, the cookies were going soft 😦 that’s why I said it wasn’t really a good idea!

      So those huge lemons in Sicily aren’t actually lemons? I’ve been wondering what cedri is for a while haha. Good to know.

  3. I am writing to tell you that I think you might like the chocolate chip cookie tiramisu if you give it a few tweaks. I am an American living in Turkey at Incirlik AB in Adana. I had just been dreaming about tiramisu and I have not seen mascarpone nor lady fingers here but I was determined to make some sort of tiramisu so I went to the commissary and ended up getting mini chocolate chip cookies and cream cheese and some cool whip. I put broken cookie peices in the bottom of a foil muffin liner, added a couple of teaspoons of fresh brewed extra strong espresso, then I mixed the cream cheese, about a third cup of sugar and a couple of tablespoons of the espresso til fluffy and mixed well then I folded in some cool whip, I put this mixture on top of the cookie then drizzled some chocolate syrup mixed with a little espresso and finished it with some light chocolate shavings. I thought I had died and gone to heaven!! I really hope you will try it is is really awesome and very rich so the small size works very well. I love reading your blog!

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