Tiramisu status uplifting for Friuli but a put-down for Veneto

An Italian ministry has ruled that tiramisu is from Friuli and not Veneto, setting off a less than sweet war of words between the neighbouring regions.

Tiramisu status uplifting for Friuli but a put-down for Veneto
File photo: studioM/Depositphotos

It all started when gastronomy authors Clara and Gigi Padovani published 'History, curious facts & interpretations of the most beloved Italian sweet'. The book sought to define the origins of globe-trotting tiramisu, the spongey dessert made with coffee, biscuit, mascarpone and rum or brandy essence. 

The book reopened an old wound, a conflict between two neighbouring regions as to the origin of the national treasure dessert and classic Italian symbol.

Now, thanks to a request by Friuli-Venezia Giulia province, tiramisù has been officially designated and recognized on the list of traditional, gastronomic products in the region. 

It's “a very important achievement, a novelty that fills us with satisfaction,” said Cristiano Shaurli, an agricultural assessor for the region, cited in Repubblica

Tiramisu, which in Italian literally means 'lift me up', is said to date from the mid 19th century, where it was allegedly first served at a restaurant in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in northern Italy. 

The governor of the neighbouring Veneto region was unimpressed however by the dessert's new official home, arguing it should instead be his province that is recognized as the eponymous sweet's home. 

“In the face of this decree I am literally grounded. I hope the minister has done so in good faith and that someone has flipped him in the wrong papers, otherwise we would really have to worry about it,” Veneto governor Luca Zaia told Il Giornale. 

Tiramisu has now being registered as a Friuli product in the Pat, which awards a certain status to products that are rooted in a specific region, culture or production method.

The list began in 2000. The Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, which compiles the list, stressed in several Italian dailies that just because tiramisu has been recognized as a product of Friuli, this does not exclude other regions from applying to add it as a product of their own, according to Messaggero Veneto

The Italian Academy of Cuisine in Udine first requested that the ministry decide on the origins of the dessert. 

“By signing this decree and attributing to Friuli Venezia Giulia this first sign of recognition, the ministry states in essence that it does not matter that five million Venetians are recognized – especially Treviso – as having as a typical product tiramisu, which we really eat everywhere,” added Veneto governor Luca Zaia, cited in Repubblica.

 READ MORE: No more kebabs: Venice cracks down on takeaway food 



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From spritz to shakerato: Six things to drink in Italy this summer

Summer in Italy means lots of things - trips to the beach, empty cities, strikes, and metro works - but it also ushers in the spritz and negroni season. Here are some of the best drinks to cool down with in Italy this summer.

From spritz to shakerato: Six things to drink in Italy this summer


Venice wins all the prizes for being the home of the spritz: the jewel in Italy’s summertime daisy crown and one of the country’s most popular exports.

To first-time customers, the sweet-and-bitter combo can taste unpleasantly like a poisoned alcopop. Stick with it, however, and you’ll soon learn to appreciate this sunset-coloured aperitif, which has come to feel synonymous with summer in Italy.

The most common version is the bright orange Aperol Spritz, but if this starts to feel too sweet once your tastebuds adjust then you can graduate to the dark red Campari Spritz, which has a deeper and more complex flavour profile.

What are the best summer drinks to order in Italy?

Photo by Federica Ariemma/Unsplash.


If you’re too cool for the unabashedly flamboyant spritz but want something not too far off flavour-wise, consider the Negroni.

It’s equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari – though if you want a more approachable version, you can order a ‘Negroni sbagliato’ – literally a ‘wrong’ Negroni – which replaces the gin with sweet sparkling Prosecco white wine.

Served with a twist of orange peel and in a low glass, the Negroni closely resembles an Old Fashioned, and is equally as stylish. A traditional Negroni may be stirred, not shaken, but it’s still the kind of cocktail that Bond would surely be happy to be seen sipping.


Don’t fancy any alcohol but still crave that bitter, amaro-based aftertaste?

A crodino might be just what you’re after. With its bright orange hue, it both looks and tastes very similar to an Aperol Spritz – so much so that you might initially ask yourself whether you’ve in fact been served the real thing.

Similar in flavour are soft drinks produced by the San Pellegrino brand; bars that don’t have any crodino on hand will often offer you ‘un San Pellegrino’ as a substitute. These drinks are usually available in multiple flavours like blood orange, grapefruit, or prickly pears.

A barman prepares a Campari Spritz cocktail in the historic Campari bar at the entrance of Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II shopping mall. Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP


Much like the crodino, the chinotto is another distinctive bitter Italian aperitivo drink.

With its medium-dark brown colouring, however, the chinotto bears more of a resemblance to Coca Cola than to the spritz, leading to its occasionally being designated as the ‘Italian Coca Cola’.

In reality far less caramelly and much more tart than coke, the chinotto has its detractors, and the fact that we’re having to describe its flavour here means it clearly hasn’t set the world alight since it was first invented in the 1930s (it was subsequently popularised by San Pellegrino, which became its main Italian producer).

If you’re looking for another grown-up tasting alternative to an alcoholic aperitivo, however, the chinotto might just be the place to look.


What’s not to love about the bellini?

Its delicate orange and rose-pink tones are reminiscent of a sunset in the same way as a spritz, but with none of the spritz’s complex and contradictory flavours.

A combination of pureed peach and sugary Prosecco wine, the bellini’s thick, creamy texture can almost make it feel smoothie or even dessert-like. It’s a sweet and simple delight, with just a slight kick in the tail to remind you it’s not a soft drink.


Not a fan of drinks of the fruity/citrusy/marinated herby variety?

If caffeine’s more your thing, Italy has an answer for you in the caffe shakerato: an iced coffee drink made with espresso, ice cubes, and sugar or sugar syrup.

That might not sound inspired at first, but hear us out: the three ingredients are vigorously mixed together in a cocktail shaker before the liquid is poured (ice cube-free) into a martini glass, leaving a dark elixir with a delicate caramel coloured foam on top.

You couldn’t look much more elegant drinking an iced coffee than sipping one of these.