Annalisa and the team from Il Monaco have been busy baking Colomba di Pasqua…and they are beautifully wrapped for you. Colomba di Pasqua is a traditional Easter cake similar to panettone and pandoro. It contains candied peel instead of raisins and is baked in the shape of a dove, to represent the Holy Spirit.
My friend Maria has told me of an old legend about this dessert. They say that when the King of Longobards, Alboino, conquered the city of Pavia, he requested that all the gold and treasures of the city should be given to him together with 12 virgins.
The poor girls were sent to the castle to await their fate and they were crying in despair. All, except for one, who asked to be given some honey, flour and dried fruits as she wanted to bake a cake. With these ingredients, she prepared a dough and gave it the shape of a dove and asked the guardians to have it baked.
When she was called to see Alboino, she carried the cake on a tray. The king was surprised and thought that the girl wanted to poison him, so he asked her to taste the cake first. The girl ate a piece and Alboino, seeing that she looked so confident, did the same. He found the cake delicious…possibly he had not been eating cake during his campaign. So, as a reward, he ordered his guards to free the clever girl. Nobody knows what happened to the other girls.
The seige of the City of Pavia ended on the eve of Easter Sunday, hence the link between the cake and Easter celebrations.
The girls at Il Monaco have also been busy making the first gelato of the season…spring must be on the way. …what to eat first!!!
This Sunday, 29th March, at 4.00pm at the Teatro Accademico at La Villa, will be a performance of a Folkloric group from Varenna. The tickets are only €5. Call 3396 167580 for more information.
They look beautiful! And we are going to miss all this…
Bought my dove already perhaps should learn to Bake one myself
I think it is much easier to buy them.
They look so pretty! And the gelato looks very yummy. I must try some, though, just to make sure.
It is always best to be sure.
Saved by the cake! Love the legend and love Easter time in Italy. Enjoy all the delights of Spring for me Deb!
Saved by cake…now there’s a thought.
Great story behind the cake. Must send it to my amici from Pavia.
You have to love these legends.
I just sent it to Alberto from Pavia- he know some of the story, but not about the virgins. Hmm, maybe they edited that part out at school!
Lovely story Maria. Hope you enjoy you cake Debra….are chocolate Easter Eggs also popular?
Chocolate eggs are very popular here. They come in huge sizes and are beautifully wrapped.
They look so lovely. Good to see the gelato back out
Yes, it is. The mornings and evenings are still quite cold, but once the sun hits the piazza it warms up. Gelato is a sure sign that warm weather is on the way.
Great story! 🙂
I love these old legends.