Carl Sagan once said: ‘Sometimes, something incredible waits to be known’.
Something incredible and sweet, we would have dared to say.
We tell you a little story, from the lines of Alfredo Giotti.
We are in ’45, the story chose Uncle Nicola, to start the art of dry sweets, with almonds.
These were difficult times, and it took three generations to make this traditional sweet so famous.
That’s right, because time is jealous of its authors.According to many, he was a fool, ,mainly because in those days you couldn’t afford to buy sweets, so they made homemade sweets and cakes.
“I bought myself a machine with a crank to grate almonds, and I began to try and try again to create something beautifu: all this on a small table…’.
My uncle used to tell me this while sitting on a stool that was not a stool: his chin resting on his crossed arms, his gaze lost in emptiness.
But his tenacity was rewarded and the big leap arrived: the opening of the pastry shop!
Austere furniture, a mahogany-coloured counter with a glass frontispiece, very few items, a few round tables in the entrance with a “Martini & Rossi” placemat, a few scattered bottles of liqueur… this was his pastry shop.
But behind the counter door there was a completely different world, the future.
The only cream pastries he made, and which are still available today, are the white cream and chocolate Sospiro.
These cakes were his greatest boast, although he soon afterwards began to add them to the Veneziana cake.
“Il Sospiro” represents the emblem of Pasticceria Giotti, a social thermometer of the city’s development, a piece of history, a symbol of the homeland, something that many times, thanks to its sweetness, has helped people forget the bitterness of life.
This is not the end of the story.
Although history is made up of small anonymous gestures, Giotti has made it unique.
In the wrapping, which I report here in detail, there is a veil of magic, an impetuous wind of affection.
Many people have tried to imitate the historical recipe, and perhaps have even managed to disguise it better, but ” Giotti Sospiro ” is absolute history, a bow stretched towards success, something magical, which retains a great message of love in all its simplicity.
Get ready for sweetness …
“From the moment of its creation, the sponge cake must be caressed, almost flown over by the spoon, to blend it with the egg white… Take care,’ Uncle Nicola used to say, ‘turn it slowly, otherwise it will come apart.
Although I’m not a pastry chef, I recount these episodes from the many times I visited him”.
I was learning a job that had a close connection with passion.
It is left to flow with a big twist, if you touch it you realise you are not touching anything.
And then they are placed there, in that dark pan, all lined up at an appropriate distance, waiting for the big event.
A few minutes in the oven and the sponge cake turns brown.
Once removed from the pan, it is first caressed in its entirety to remove any roughness, then an opening is gently made at its base, and finally for the second time the Sospiro is totally caressed , rotating it.
The pastry cream then, anticipated by a good and modest sprinkling of bagna Strega, makes its entrance into the belly of the Sospiro, and after closing the belly with its own sponge cake, the cake is ready for the entrance of its investiture.
Uncle Nicola used an old English army stainless steel grating, where he would place the bare Sospiri and then let them decant from the excess of the “scèleppe” (giulebbe in Italian).
For the third time, the Sospiro is again gently picked up and lowered into the scèleppe, immediately turning it over, while a breath of wind pushes away the excess icing to make it sober, light and grandly regal.
finally being dry, it is adorned at the top with candied fruit and a few filiform chocolate jokes before being finally plunged into its basket; and here “Il Sospiro” is ready to make people forget the anxieties of life.
There is no sweet in the world that has been caressed as many times as this sweet, but what really makes the difference is the story it holds within it: the passion to be first despite the multiplication of delicacies. No sweet receives as much attention as ” Giotti Sospiro “.
Alfredo sings the praises of Il Sospiro, pointing to it as the
the wordless wish for those who want to say a lot (especially in love), for those who want to dress up a dull look with festivity and for those who, like him, have found a smile in childhood.
Not a bad idea to use sweetnessto get into the pages of the story, don’t you agree?