Tiramisu World Cup
Recipes for this classic Italian dessert are causing controversy
It may sound like a confection, but tiramisu recipes are causing controversy in Italy as beer is added to the mix.
The country’s foodies fear the mouth-watering mélange of mascarpone cheese, sponge fingers, coffee and chocolate could soon be unrecognisable as organisers of this year’s Tiramisu World Cup are inviting participants to create their own versions of the popular sweet with a twist, adding chilli, onions, wasabi, and even beer.
Applications are open for 600 participants who can produce a classic recipe or come up with one of their own at the competition, to be held in the northern city of Treviso and surrounding towns in the region of Veneto.
The event takes place from Thursday November 1 to Sunday November 4.
It is only the second time the global competition has been held and this year there will be two winners – one for the best “classic” recipe and one for the best “creative” recipe.
“The creative category is dedicated to those competitors who want to create their own tiramisu recipe without distorting it,” said cup organiser Francesco Redi.
“They can substitute the ladyfingers with another biscuit or the sponge and they can also add up to three ingredients.”
Redi defended adding beer, saying: “I believe it is possible providing you can reduce the alcohol content.”
He said one of last year’s semifinalists impressed the judges with a recipe that included chilli, but there was only one winning category and that was for a classic recipe.
This year’s competition is expected to attract even more competitors willing to push the boundaries.
“Whatever you do, you are going to be criticised,” Redi said. “When pizza was born it was only a margherita. Is a pizza with prosciutto and mushrooms not a pizza?“
But the competition, which is backed by local councils and corporate sponsors, is already facing a backlash. The Confraternita del Tiramisu, or Tiramisu Guild, which represents 50 members in the Veneto region, said yesterday it did not want to have anything to do with the cup or anyone who sought to modify the traditional recipe.
“Tiramisu was born here,” Annibale Toffolo, the guild secretary, told The Daily Telegraph.
“Tiramisu means ‘pick you up’ – it is a way of giving you strength and energy. Everything else is an invention. We have to defend it.”
Last year’s competition attracted 720 participants who came from countries including Brazil, Canada, Australia and Ethiopia as well as Italy.
Applications are also open for 180 judges who will choose the world’s best tiramisu over four days of intense competition.
Meanwhile, there is still plenty of debate about where the popular dessert originated. Veneto and neighbouring Friuli-Venezia Giulia have been battling for years over which is the true birthplace of tiramisu, which is imitated in kitchens around the globe.
Last year, Friuli-Venezia Giulia scored a significant victory in the culinary clash after persuading the Italian government to list tiramisu as one of its traditional dishes with an official decree. – The Daily Telegraph