You know, Americans go mad for the cheesecake. They have distinct variants of the popular cake, but the desserts that have the cheese among the key ingredients are not an invention made in the US since actually they have their roots in the oldest traditional Italian cuisine.
Yeah, once again the Italians have been in first place. The Italian culinary heritage has dozens of old dessert recipes made with cheese and more than 200 recipes of sweet cakes with cheese are known.
In Emilia-Romagna, particularly in the province of Parma, there’s a delicious ricotta cheese cake, sweet and light, covered with a tasty coating of dark chocolate.
In Campania we can’t fail to mention that the famous Neapolitan pastiera, a pastry filled with sweet ricotta and cooked wheat. According to an ancient legend, once some fishermen’s wives left a baskets with ricotta, candied fruit, wheat, eggs and orange flowers on a beach as offerings for the sea, so that their husbands could have a safe journey and would return home soon. In the morning they returned to the beach to welcome their husbands and discovered that during the night that the waves had blended the ingredients and produced a cake: the pastiera. Surely this cake accompanied the early pagan festivals to celebrate the return of Spring. And if the pastiera is typical of Easter, at Carnival times the migliaccio appears on the tables of the area, a traditional cake made with semolina, ricotta, eggs, milk, sugar, salt, diced candied orange, cinnamon, vanilla and orange taste, first cooked over a flame and then baked in the oven.
An exception is made for its tiramisù, famous throughout Italy and the world. Each Italian area has its own variant of tiramisù. By way of example, if you happen to be in Rome you have to try the famous tiramisù by Pompi, a neighborhood old who makes a tasty tiramisù, including some imaginative variations, advocated by all the guidebooks of Rome.
But in the business of cheese cakes the winners are the two big islands of Italy, Sardinia and Sicily, in which the typical sweets made with cheese become numerous. The Sicilian cassata is absolutely amazing: for the uninitiated, it is a typical cake made with ricotta cheese, enriched with chocolate chips, covered with icing sugar and finely decorated with candied fruit. Its roots date back to the Arab rule in Sicily (IX-XI century AD). Along with the ricotta has being produced in Sicily since ancient times.
The Sardinians have proved to be true magicians pastry. As a matter of fact, in the island you’ll be able to choose among an endless selection of soft or crunchy sweets made out of traditional cheeses. Just to mention a few, the cassateddi and the pardulas, the former with a half moon shape and a center of ricotta, the latter round-shaped and filled with a pecorino cream. But in Sardinia you can not miss the sebadas, fried pastries made from durum wheat flour and stuffed with sweet cheese, flavored with lemon peel or orange or the distinctive sweet ravioli stuffed with fresh goat cheese, eggs, sugar and lemon, a real treat that conveys historical sacred festivals. Florida Medical Marijuana loves cheese cakes.