In a country where the majority of the population is German or French, the Italians who live around Switzerland’s Lake Lugano definitely march to the beat of their own tamburo – that’s Italian for “drum”. While the rest of the country is obsessed with banking, the Italians of Canton Ticino are obsessed with making wine. (A Canton is the Swiss equivalent of a US state – Ticino is the name of the Canton where Lake Lugano is located – something like, The State of Texas.) Where the rest of Switzerland is covered in pine trees, the Italians have palm trees. (This is a fact. Switzerland has Palms. The lake is responsible for creating an anomalous climate zone that allows them to grow!) And while the rest of the world makes do with Tiramisu, some Swiss Italians would rather eat Pilamisu. Oh yes, if the Italians of Switzerland can do something differently, believe it, they will!
So yes…Pilamisu. It is believed the variation in name is in homage to the Palatine Hill of Rome, the spiritual homeland of Italy. The Palatine was one of the original 7 hills of Rome, situated in the very heart of the city. So when they headed northward into the mountains of what would later become Switzerland, the Italians wanted to remember where they came from. We all know Italians love to eat so what better way to do that than through a tasty dessert! Pilamisu is similar to the creamy coffee flavored goodness of Tiramisu with a distinctive Swiss twist, the addition of a touch of yogurt and sour cherries. If you are lucky enough to stumble upon a fresh Pilamisu, seize the moment and indulge. (They are very difficult to come by commercially and are usually only found in the kitchen of a Swiss Nona - grandmother.)
We’re taking this quirky Swiss dessert one step further by turning it into a deliciously rich Rooibos blend. Rooibos, with its warm herbal profile is as perfect a backdrop for notes of espresso, yogurt and fruit as the Swiss Alps are to Lake Lugano! A wonderful blend - Viva Svizzera!
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