Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Sweet Life


For the longest time, I would pass these delicious pastries in the window here in Bergamo, thinking who on earth would eat a dessert made from polenta? 

Looking at this dessert, it is shaped like polenta and the color of polenta so it must be made with polenta.

Let me back up here. Bergamo is an area known for its polenta and its found in both sweet and savory dishes. Read about it here.

I am not a big fan of polenta and typically don't tend to eat it. When I first saw these desserts, I was puzzled. Have they gone overboard? The Bergamaschi must really love their polenta.

After the lockdown, these "polenta" cakes called Polenta e Osei were displayed in the windows again. This time I said, okay, I am going to try one.  I had to know what they tasted like. I also thought if they are made with polenta, they must also be gluten-free. (I was very wrong)!!

So, I bought a mini one. 

We sliced it in half and saw there was a chocolate filling in the middle. The cake had me at the first bite.  Wow. This was NOT polenta at all. The shape of the dessert is made to resemble polenta, but that's where it ends.

When I looked up the recipe, I saw it is made with flour, hazelnuts, rum, marzipan, and zero polenta! Check out a recipe here. The taste is similar to a sponge cake and very moist. The outside is a marzipan coating rolled in yellow sugar crystals. How absolutely wrong I was and couldn't believe how stupid I was for by-passing this sweet goodness.

Needless to say, the next day, I bought an even bigger one to sample. All I could think was how did I pass this up for 4 months??!! My waist thanks me, but not my sweet tooth. 

If you visit Bergamo, be sure and try one of these. You will not be disappointed.

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