April 8, 2012

Colomba Pasquale

Looking for a tasty Easter treat from Italy? If so, you might be interested in Colomba Pasquale (or Easter Dove).  This Italian Easter specialty is a soft, sweet bread similar to the more famous Panettone and Pandoro, which are common during the Christmas holidays.

Colomba Pasquale is traditionally made from flour, eggs, butter, and sugar, often with candied orange peel (or cubes of candied oranges) and a thick glaze scattered with almonds.  This Easter dessert is commonly formed into the shape of a dove, which is the literal meaning of the Italian word colomba.

The dove is a common symbol of peace, relating back to the biblical story of Noah and the Ark.  In the story, Noah releases the dove after forty days and nights of flooding and the dove returns with an olive leaf in its mouth, symbolizing reconciliation between God and humanity.

The origin of the Colomba Pasquale, however, is a bit harder to pinpoint.  It might have been created during the Middle Ages as a peace offering from the community of Pavia to the conquering Longobard King Albion, supposedly on Easter. However, the Colomba Pasquale that we see in most stores today is credited by some to the company started by Angelo Motta in the early 1900s, now a mass-producer of many different kinds of sweets (including the aforementioned Christmas specialties).

Whether purchased at the supermarket or made by specialized bakers, the Colomba is a must on Italian tables on Easter day. Why not add it to your Easter table ? It might be a tasty addition to your Easter desserts and its origin a fun story to share with friends and family!

by D.R. (intern @ Taste of Italy)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is delicious and even more so if you make it yourself!! Very delicious and i think a nice change form easter chocolate overload...See my blog for a wonderful recipe along with other fab Italian bread recipes.....