Italian foodies are getting their serviettes (napkins) in a twist over tiramisu.
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 mouthwatering 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.
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Mr Redi defended adding beer, saying: “I believe it is possible providing you can reduce the alcoholic content.”
He said one of last year’s semi-finalists impressed the judges with a recipe that included chili 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,” he 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 Wednesday 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,” guild secretary, Annibale Toffolo, told The Telegraph. “Tiramisu means 'pick you up', it is a way of giving you strength and energy. Everything else is an invention.
“We have to protect our identity. It is like the pizza that has spread around the world. We have to defend it.”
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Tiramisu with chili??? Say it ain't so! That sounds like a Texas edition of the recipe, right there . . . I wonder if the chili included beans? And wasabi? Japanese tiramisu? Or should that be tira-miso?
Having said that, of course, a very palatable tiramisu may be found in a local ristorante. Miss D. and I indulge ourselves there now and again, trying to push aside guilty feelings over the calories involved. However, they don't add chili!