Cultural Italy Blog: Art, Coffee & Love

Buona Pasqua! E buon appetito!


Only few days are left before the Santa Pasqua! This Sunday our small Italy and the whole Christian world will celebrate the great festivity in honor of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each involved country has its special recipes for the occasion. However, our small yet gastronomically advanced “boot” has, as always, the most delicious Easter dainties ever!

Many of you have perhaps tried the renowned oven baked lamb with Italian aromatic herbs. Many of you have probably heard about huge chocolate eggs with a small surprise hidden inside of it. In fact, this sweet trick for kids has a long tradition. Although nowadays one can find it a little bit everywhere, it was invented about two hundred years ago in Turin. Finally, another Italian specialty for Easter, that I personally like the most, is so-called colomba.

Literally colomba means “white dove”. Today it is a must-have for any Italian lunch organized on the occasion the Resurrection Sunday.

This dessert has medieval origins. However, and surprisingly enough, it gained its popularity turning into a really special and Easter only dessert less than one hundred years ago.
In fact, it was famous signor Motta, a celebrated baker-manufacturer from Milan, to introduce a new seasonal cake into his production. As a good master chef he simply took and reinterpreted half forgotten ancient recipe enriching it with some fresh ingredients, like almond paste and icing sugar.

To conclude his sweet business idea, he decided to produce the new colomba-cake with an iconic shape of a pure and resurgent spring symbol – a dove. The work was successfully completed and promoted by Cassandre, an artist in vogue specializing in advertising posters. The catch-phrase “Il dolce che sa di primavera” (“The sweet that tastes like spring”) and the fashionable graphics with a typical taste of 30-s won the hearts of the Italians. Yes, good old ideas often become new ideas when they are well forgotten!

Enjoy your Pasqua!

Maria Novozhilova

twitter: @NovozhilovaM