Thank You for Spring! With singing birds as my alarm clock and fresh aroma of coffee as my first inspiration, morning is beginning a new happy day.
Everything beautiful in our life was born in love, passion and grace. Spring brings to us these great gifts. Today I invite you in Bergamo in a sunny terrace of charming cafe “La Marianna” to share with me fantastic desert – Polenta e Osèi, the gastronomic symbol of Bergamo.
Originally, polenta, from the Latin pollen for “fine flour”, which shares a root with pulvis, meaning “dust”, is a dish of boiled cornmeal. It’s frequently eaten with meats and ragù, cheese like gorgonzola.
The origins of the sweet version of Polenta e Osèi date to 1910, the year when a local baker, Amadeo Alessio and his wife, created it for the first time.
It is interesting that Polenta e Osèi is in no way actually made of polenta. The polenta-like appearance is due to a yellow fondant covering rolled in big crystals of sugar, with a dollop of apricot jam on top. Inside, a yellow cake (pan di spagna) hides a cream center of usually hazelnut.
It seems I know the reason why Polenta e Osèi is not actually Polenta…
Amadeo Mozartti is a young and joyful baker from peasant family with happy songs creates his masterpieces in Antonio Salierri’s pastry. Salierri’s business is a heritage from 7 generations of excellent bakers. And from his first inhalation Antonio is a baker and he has dedicated himself to the service of the baking art. He is rich and he enjoys his life in baking cakes in own pastry.
He is proud of his high standards. Of course, the Queen personally byes sophisticated cakes here, in Salerri! But it is the question here. The Queen loves Mozartti’s deserts. Secretly, however, Salleri is jealous of Mozartti’s works because he recognizes their superior quality, especially given what he sees in him as a simple peasant.
Soprano’s family is the richest in Verona. Father of Sopranos is going to Bergamo to expand their business and the best way to do it is … family-arranged wedding! He has a daughter Giulietta Soprano. The only child, she is a gift from heaven.
“Sallieri is a good choice for my Giulietta”, thinks Soprano. “He is rich. He has connection with the Queen”. “Oh, yes, I will marry. Sopranos is my chance!”, Sallierri dreams. Of course, his interest in her is primarily based on her social standing and her family’s vast wealth, in contrast to her youthful beauty.
The meeting Giulietta Soprano with Antonio Sallierri was arranged in Antonio’s pastry. Amadeo Mozartti secretly glanced on Giulietta is fallen in love with her endlessly at the first sight. He can not handle the feeling but what he can do? How he can tell her “I love you!”?
Happy loving hands of grandmother Amadeo feels on his hot forehead and the only world “Polenta” he listens in the dreams at the night before the day when meeting with Giulietta is possible. “Polenta? It sounds ridiculous. This dish is for poor peasants”, Amadeo desperately cries, “I will try any way. It is matter of life or death. I will chose the finest ingredients for my wordless love confession”.
He runs to the kitchen: “White chocolate, dark chocolate, butter, of course, ground almonds, instead of corns! What a relief!” Amadeo happily singing again creates his masterpiece.
“Marzipan bird is on the apricot confiture pillow happily resting in the golden nest not from a metal but from sunshine and my favourite corn. Dear Giulietta, you are the bird and my love is the golden nest. I will keep it for the end of my days,” Giulietta recognised Amadeo’s heart and read the message from it.
Sallieri did not poison Mozartti. Amadeo was simply fired. Father Soprano accepted the choice of his child’s heart. All Bergamo was dancing on their wedding. Happy End!
We can join celebrating Spring and Love with a beautiful dance “La Bergamesca” by Marco Uccellini.
Thank you for your hand I am feeling in the dance by beating of our hearts. Your eyes are incredible. You are beautiful. You are my Spring Bird!