We arrived at the train station fortunate to see it had not begun to rain. We got on our bearings and headed toward the center to find the Tourist office to get a map and advice on the city. Walking into the center of town we were obviously quickly sidetracked as we walked past the "Casa del Pane", situated on a perfect corner and immediately calling our name. In fact, we soon realized that "Casa del Pane" was reviewed as the best bakery in Mantova by a reviewer on TripAdvisor, it was like it was meant to be that we took that road toward the center, and there was no way we could say no to the various pastries staring at us from their shelves, labelled with the various typical names that we had just learned about on Wikipedia. The only question for us was, which treats to get? We entered the bakery, and were quickly greeted by the nice men running the shop, they chatted with us, while we told them we wanted to try the typical mantovana dolce, they suggested some sort of rum cake which we quietly nixed, and we asked about the Sbrisolona Torta which we had read about on wikipedia. The men agreed it was a very typical pastry of the area, so we grabbed a slice of that, and our eyes had also been caught on a frittella di mele con marscarpone e gocce di cioccolato, even if it wasn't a regional pastry, we couldn't resist... a fried apple flavored sugar coated dough ball filled with delicious marscarpone and chocolate chips. Yes, please. We left the "Casa del Pane" enthused, pronta to eat our frittelle which they had heated up for us, and we decided to save the sbrisolona cake - which literally means "to crumble".
Quick Sbrisolona History: The Torta Sbrisolona di Mantova is the most well renown dessert of Mantova and the most diffused outside of the province. It used to be called the "tart of three cups" because it was made from a cup of cornmeal, a cup of flour and a cup of sugar. Often the tart also has almonds in it. The dessert derives it's current name from the verb sbriciolarsi, which means to crumbled and it is also advised to be eaten by breaking off pieces with your hands, never to be cut with a knife.
|Risotto alla Pilotta