“Colomba Pasquale”: a sweet story between myth and reality

Published: 30th March 2011
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Easter is coming and with it are coming all the sweet dishes that feature fresh baked specialties from chocolate loved by children but not all.

Certainly in the Italian tradition the best known and most popular dessert that is identified, even in form, with the anniversary of the Easter is no doubt the "colomba" (dove). Its history is rooted in more deeply rooted Catholic tradition, but there are several legends about the animal that is the sweet it is to interpret.

According to the Bible the dove represents and embodies the hope to return it because it was Noah's ark with an olive branch in its beak after the Flood, marking the end of man with God and reconciliation, and reporting the presence of land emerged. A strong signal so closely tied to the meaning that Easter holds within the culture of Christian countries.

Different is the source of the dove, which did not immediately part of the sweet pastry, which goes back to medieval times when the barbarian invasions precisely and specifically those led by King Alboino who came to Italy with his soldiers to conquer the city of Pavia. The siege of the city, as told by the many reports written at the time and in later periods, was very long, it lasted even three decades during which the barbarians were driven from the city. After three years at the gates of Pavia Re Alboino managed to break through the gates and enter it precisely on the eve of Easter in 572. The king, taken by a strong desire for revenge decided to burn the entire city and exterminate the citizens. But first he decided to accept the gifts that people would give him, thus following the war-horse of the time.

The gifts consisted of twelve girls of the doilies of rare beauty that traditionally would have to entertain the nights of the sovereign. Legend has it, however, that while the king reflected on the fate of the inhabitants appeared before him a humble craftsman who handed him a gift of bread and cakes in the shape of a dove as a tribute and a gesture of peace on Easter Sunday, sweet flavors which turned out so tasty and so good to push the king to change his mind on the fate of the inhabitants of Pavia and make a solemn promise to "respect the city and its citizens, in honor of the doves."The promise turned out to be a hoax, however, seen that, when the king asked for the names to the girls that Pavia had brought, they said they all "Dove." It is said that King Alboino including the deception of which he suffered, but opted to save the citizens and not kill them.

Another, much better known, the legend related to the sweet dove back to the Battle of Legnano in 1176. Battle won by the Commons leader known Lombardi against Frederick Barbarossa, Emperor of Germany was celebrated with these cakes in the shape of a dove. The idea is traced to a Northern League leader during the battle he was struck by some birds that were resting on signs Lombard making sense the victory.

This article was written by Martina Celegato, with support from prodotto tipico.
For any information please visit dolci da forno, or visit spaccio dolci

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