A CAKE BAKED FOR A SAINT
On the hills of the northern province of Mantua, at a stone’s throw from Lake Garda, there is a little village named Cavriana (literally “Goat-ville”). And, as in Italy every place has its own traditional recipe, also this little village has its own special cake, named after the local patron Saint: the “Torta di San Biagio” (Cake of Saint Blaise).
This cake is a tart made with a special dough, whose recipe does not include eggs, being made with white wine, butter, flour and sugar. The filling is almond based, but, of course, every family has its own “secret formula”, so in every house the cake has a different flavor, given by different quantities of the ingredients mixed in the filling (almonds with lemon zest, rum, chocolate and anise, plus the “secret ingredient” of every family).
The cakes are prepared in huge quantity every year on the occasion of the Saint’s feast, on February 3rd. Having a walk around the village in the days before the feast, you can feel the delicious smell everywhere. This is because in every house dozens of cakes are cooked, to then be given in a gift to relatives, friends and neighbors. And of course a friendly “untold” competition is in the air…”I give you my cake, to show you that my recipe is better than yours!”. But in the end the real winner is… every person who enjoys tasting so many variations of the cake!
Every year, on February 3rd, an enormous cake of San Biagio – with a 3 meters diameter – is cut on the main square of Cavriana, and slices are offered to people visiting the village on the occasion of the feast of the Saint.
Isn’t this a perfect reason to visit this area in this time of the year?