Padua, in Veneto, is a very important city of Italy. It can be easily compared with all the big three (Rome, Venice, Florence) because its culture, its historical heritage and its city center are all extremely fascinating. Many illustrious personalities like Dante, Galileo and Petrarch have left their trails in this city. Padua is renowned for the Cappella of Scrovegni, the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua and many other majestic buildings like Il Palazzo della Ragione (The Palace of Reason).
Apart from those major sights, in every respectable touristic guide of Padua, you will find mention of the Pazientina Cake. This unique dessert is one of the most distinguished delicacies of the entire city and you are not allowed to exit from the city center without having a piece of it. Obviously I’m joking, but for the Paduan inhabitants this cake is a part of their culture and their traditions, and for this reason, they can be offended if you haven’t tasted it during your stay.
The myths of this multi-layered dessert date back to 1600 AD. The background of the cake is mainly monastic. All the three anecdotes, which explain the origin of its name, are related in a way or another with the ecclesiastical world.
The first anecdote narrates that the cake was used as a restorative for the weak and sick. The restorative effect is sure, but not immediate, you need to be patient. Consequently, the cake was called Pazientina that derives from “pazienza”, which means patience in Italian. The second anecdote tells that the name Pazientina comes from the “pazienza” and long preparation which are necessary to produce this rich and generous cake. The last anecdote states that the name of the cake is simply born as a match with the typical biscuit of Padua, the Pazientini.
Just for your sweet tooth, this delicious multi-layered dessert is composed by a stratus of Brescian cake (almond paste), two layers of zabaglione and a layer of Polenta di Cittadella (sponge cake), all covered by dark chocolate shavings. I’m already salivating but take an attentive look, like I’m just doing, at the picture to understand why I have got cravings, in this exact moment, and why this dessert is one of the prides of the city.