Pasqualina Cake

Via di Sottoripa, 113 r, 16124 Genova GE, Italia

Simona Bertolaso



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True, there are perhaps hundreds of vegetable pies in the world, but each country and region has its own specialties.
The most famous in Genoa is torta pasqualina, which logicamnte derives from a typical "poor" Genoese cuisine, carried on to the present day by the old Sciamadde of the center.
It is a puff pastry filled with chard, peas, artichokes and prescinseua, a typical Genoese sourdough cheese.

In past centuries eggs and cheese, the essential ingredients of pasqualina, were foods that were consumed only on major festivities. The traditional torta pasqualina is typical of the Easter season, that is, of spring and its products: eggs, herbs, new onions, and marjoram, once found in every Ligurian vegetable garden. It represents the highlight of the Easter meal and in the past was the apotheosis of the skill of the housewives, who legendarily are said to have been able to overlap up to thirty-three sheets in homage to the years of Christ.

The existence of Genoese torta pasqualina is documented from the 16th century, when the scholar Hortensio Lando mentions it in the Catalogo delli inventori delle cose che si mangiano et si bevano. At that time it was known as gattafura, because le gatte volentieri le furano et vaghe ne sono, but even the writer himself was so fond of it that he wrote, "A me piacero più che all’orso il miele."

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