An irresistible dessert to add to your bucket list!
By Alessandra Ivaldi / 17.12.2021
The end of the year is only around the corner and it’s time for everyone to think about their New Year’s resolutions. With resolutions often comes the challenge of taking on a healthier lifestyle, maybe going on a diet… But, the reality is different – we eat more during the Christmas holidays than at any other time of the year! Dinner parties, lunch with family and friends – any excuse to gorge on goodies. And speaking of goodies, today we’re going to talk about a dessert with ancient origins and an irresistible flavour: mandorlato!
Traditionally, mandorlato is produced with only four ingredients: honey, sugar, egg whites and almonds. It was created in Veneto, a region in the Northeast of Italy, but when exactly remains a mystery. However, there are no doubts about where it originated. It was created in a town now known as Cologna Veneta, in the province of Verona.
The first written reference to this dessert was found in a document dating back to 1540. However, we know that it was the entrepreneurship of an apothecary from Cologna Veneta, Italo Marani, that made mandorlato really famous. He decided, in 1852, to improve the preexisting recipe of mandorlato. The success of his new recipe was so great that Marani started a large-scale production and managed to sell his mandorlato far and wide. It even reached the table of Pope Pius X, who really appreciated the delicious gift.
Today, different versions of mandorlato are produced in many Italian regions. However, the version from Veneto is special thanks to its unique recipe. The ingredients must be added according to a precise sequence and, once mixed, they must be left to melt together on a low heat for many hours. Respecting such a specific procedure creates a dessert with an inimitable flavour.
If you ever get the chance to try mandorlato, savour it and let each mouthful slowly melt on your tongue. Its shell of honey, sugar and egg whites will dissolve, flooding your mouth with a sweet flavour that’s immediately followed by the taste of slightly toasted almonds from the dessert’s centre.
Did your mouth start watering? Well, there’s even more! For anyone with a sweet tooth, there’s another version of mandorlato that has its hard sugary shell surrounded by a further irresistible layer of dark chocolate!
If you’re a fan of this dessert, then don’t miss the following double event. Every year, on the 8th of December, the town of Cologna Veneta organizes a mandorlato festival that all local producers participate in. While over in Solagna, a town in the province of Vicenza (Veneto), they celebrate the “Festa della Madonna Fredda” (literally, the “Feast of Our Cold Lady”), otherwise called “sagra del mandorlato” (“Festival of Mandorlato”).
We bet you’ll be adding eating an authentic mandorlato from Veneto to your New Year’s resolutions!