This is one of the most famous desserts in the world. But who invented it? Carlo Campeol, the proprietor of the Ristorante Becchiere in Treviso, tells us the story.
“In the Treviso area, there has always been a tradition of using ladyfinger biscuits, fresh egg yolks, mascarpone, sugar, and coffee, for making pick-me-ups for the elderly and for children in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon.
The idea of bringing all the ingredients together and adding cocoa, however, came in the late 1960s to my mother, Alba di Pillo, and a young cook, Paolo Linguanotto, who was passionate about the art of pastry-making and who worked in the kitchens of the Beccherie in Treviso.
Some light coffee (from a còcoma, or coffee pot) is poured over the ladyfingers, laid out in a dish, and a filling of mascarpone cream is then added to them.
This is repeated on two layers, ending with a dusting of cocoa, and the Tiramisù is ready.
In the original recipe there was no liqueur, as it was traditionally given to children and the elderly.
The tempting name – literally “pick-me-up” – and the simplicity of the recipe is what has made it so incredibly popular around the world.
The “birthplace” is given historical recognition by the gourmet Giuseppe Maffioli in his essay entitled La cucina trevigiana, and the date of birth can be seen in a list of desserts in book called Cucina di Marca, also written by Maffioli and published by Fernando Raris in the late 1970s. It did not yet have the name “Tirame-su”, however, simply because it did not yet officially exist. It was only a few years later that “Tiramisù” began to be served at the tables of the Beccherie in Treviso”.