I’ll let you in on a little secret. Even though I grew up in an Italian family where more than half of my relatives, including my father and grandparents, were actually from Italy, I had never heard of mascarpone until I was an adult and discovered it for myself. Shocking, isn’t it? But, it’s true. For some reason none of the cooks in my family ever used the stuff. How could this be? Well, the only answer that I can come up with is that none of them were big bakers, and mascarpone is more commonly used in sweet dishes. Also, since my family came from the southern half of the boot, most of the food out of their kitchens was tomato and olive oil based. Except for ricotta and fresh mozzarella, very little of anything creamy was ever used in cooking.
My grandmother was diabetic, so she really never served much in the way of desserts outside of fresh fruit platters and some sfogliatelle or cannoli picked up from one of the neighborhood pastry shops. I guess she figured why make luscious desserts that she couldn’t enjoy herself, especially when there were so many excellent bakeries within walking distance. And, because she didn’t bake or make lots of sweets, none of her four daughters ever did either. They bought their cakes, tiramisu and pastries too. I guess you could say that our entire family did its part to keep the local bakeries in business. Heck, I’d probably do the same thing if I had access to all of those wonderful Italian treats! Sadly, here in my neck of the woods that is not an option. If I want to enjoy authentic, mouthwatering Italian delights, I have two options. The first is to buy them at the one and decidedly “meh” Italian bakery in town. The second is to make them myself. Sometimes, I choose option one, but most of the time I go the DIY route. read more >>