That’s Amor

These are the tastings that are sometimes done almost by chance, perhaps on a cold Sunday in January spent discovering places full of charm like the Lunigiana. Maybe entering a Café that could be any Café, to take heart from the breath that thickens in grayish clouds, in the air that for some reason, even if you are on the street, smells like the fireplace, firewood, of cozy atmospheres. These are tastings that are owed to become “Madeleines” in the memory of pleasure, little but unforgettable joys of life.

Amor vincit omnia at the Café degli Svizzeri, in the heart of Pontremoli

This is how you try Amor, filled wafer cakes with a soft cream, liqueur and hazelnut cream, in a whirlwind of literary evocations that surrounds Pontremoli, city of the book, and of warm familiarity.

Caffè degli Svizzeri a Pontremoli, ph. Tripadvisor

During the Napoleonic era, many Swiss descended into Italy and conquered with it the art of pastry outposts deemed far more challenging to win with weapons. In 1842, in Pontremoli and for this purpose the Aichta brothers arrived to open a grocery and liquor store right in the main square of the ancient Lunigianese center, since the most remote times land of border and conquest, as seen from its towers, bridges, the big fortified castle.

Amor conquered more than the weapons: when the grocery was expanded in the beautifully furnished rooms in Art Nouveau style in the early ‘years of the 20ieth century and expanded into a pastry and coffee shop today known as the Café Degli Svizzeri. And this sweet little invention of the Aichta brothers and Steckli members became famous throughout the valley, also thanks to the pastry business that the Swiss also had in the city of Massa.

Caffè degli Svizzeri – ph Tripadvisor

Even today, entering the Caffé degli Svizzeri means being conquered by beauty, as well as by taste. In beautifully preserved and furnished premises, it seems to take a trip in time and style, while learning that’s Amor.

A jealously guarded recipe, but we try the same

Su un’esperienza così completa non si possono dare ricette, e si trattasse di tentare di rifare a casa questo Delikatessen svizzero, il procedimento ufficiale non è dato di sapere, perché è gelosamente conservato tra le carte di casa Aichta. 

Tuttavia, per chi si vuole cimentare, si può provare a:

Trovare il wafer in Cialde quadrate oppure accontentarsi delle Marie.

Per la crema accaparrarsi:

  • 1/2 lt di latte
  • 6 rossi d’uovo
  • 150 gr di zucchero semolato
  • 75 gr di farina bianca
  • zucchero a velo
  • un pizzico di vanillina
  • 300 gr di burro fresco da mettere a temperatura ambiente
  • liquore ( Strega, Sassolino, Brandy)
  • granella di mandorle o nocciole.

In un recipiente, lavorare i rossi d’uovo con lo zucchero, la farina e la vanillina. Bollire il latte e aggiungerlo al composto amalgamando bene.

Mettere in una pentola e cuocete la crema continuando a mescolare. Una volta raggiunto bollore, toglierla dal fuoco, travasandola in una ciotola capiente e coperta  con un foglio di carta oleata (o pellicola) per evitare che raffreddandosi formi la crosticina in superficie.

Incorporare il burro morbido alla crema e lavorare con cura fino ad ottenere una consistenza spugnosa. Completate con 2-3 cucchiai dei liquori, e porre  la farcia in luogo fresco, a riposo.

Sistemare la crema tra le due cialde e completare a piacere con la granella di mandorle o nocciole.




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