- Food & Wine
A journey through the flavours of Mantua cannot possibly ignore Sbrisolinando & Co, a festival running from 14 to 16 October 2022 that celebrates and honours the undisputed queen of Mantua’s pastry-making tradition.
A dessert that, together with other outstanding Italian regional pastries, promises to transform the historic centre of Mantua into a treasure trove of sweetness in the form of an event that will be enriched by guided tastings, show cooking, workshops and themed culinary challenges.
With a history stretching back to the sixteenth century, the Torta Sbrisolona, (from the Mantuan dialect word “brisa”, meaning “crumb”) stands out precisely for the unique crumbliness of its dough, a property that causes the cake to crumble in the hands to form irregular pieces of varying sizes. A nourishing peasant recipe that was traditionally prepared by combining corn flour and hazelnuts with lard, the cake was transformed into a piece of refined patisserie at the Court of the Gonzaga family, where it was modified and sweetened: almonds took the place of hazelnuts, while the dough was enriched with vanilla, sugar and lemon and the lard replaced with butter.
Unchanged over the course of centuries, the delicious taste of Torta Sbrisolona continues to delight visitors from all over who, in accordance with the most widespread local custom, should break it with their hands and enhance its flavor by immersing the crumbs in grappa.