Award ceremony for historical pastry shops in Padua

In occasion of Gourmandia, A.P.P.E. awarded some artisan confectioners from Padua and its province


La Pazientina, a typical sweet specialty from Padua. Photo by Cristiano Bulegato for the Pastry Group of Padua.


Padua city with province is considered the capital of historical pastry shops: in this area there are as many as 24, some over one hundred years old and now in their fifth generation.
The official nomination took place at the end of May during Gourmandia, when the Provincial Association of Public Exercises awarded companies with more than half a century of uninterrupted activity. The most historic was Pasticceria Ballico, dating back to 1903, followed by Graziati, founded in 1919, and Racca, in 1933, in Padua, while Gardellin opened in Curtarolo in 1921. “Food and pastry shops are a cultural expression”, said Federica Luni, vice-president of APPE and spokesman for the Pastry Chefs Group. “Padua and its province are represented in all the nuances of these award-winning pastry shops. Each historical activity has its own identity, a typical production and a story. During the ceremony, someone dedicated the award to those who are no longer there, and others to their children who continue the business. A goal, but also a starting point. A flagship of our territory to be promoted and enhanced”. The certificates of merit were delivered by Luni, together with Franco Pasqualetti, vice president of the Padua Chamber of Commerce, and Filippo Segato, A.P.P.E secretary.

Paduan pastry shops: identity and specialty

In the city (and in the province) there are about 300 pastry shops with production laboratories and public resale, which employ about 2,000 people, with a total turnover of about 60 million of euro per year. The Pastry Chefs Group mentioned by Luni includes about fifty activities and its members have been actively involved in social issues over time, while now they aim at achieving the official recognition of the Pazientina recipe and at the creation of ‘less sugar, more taste’ brioches.Among the local specialties, Luni mentioned Pazientina, Zaeti, Fritoe, Focaccia della Bassa Padovana, Pinsa, Polentina from Cittadella, and Dolce del Santo.


The pride of the Pasticceria Estense

A third generation pastry chef, after his father Pietro and grandfather Egidio, Francesco Luni of Pasticceria Estense tells us about Pazientina: “After being forgotten for some time, this cake was rediscovered and properly enhanced, and today it is considered the Paduan pastry emblem. The recipe was made official before a notary on 10th February 1999 (like that for the Risotto ricco alla padovana e La gallina alla canavèra) in a room of the historical Caffè Pedrocchi in Padua, thanks to a research of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, which promotes the ancient Italian culinary traditions and their conservation over time”.

(official recipe)

150 g butter
150 g sugar
100 g flour
100 g sweet almonds
50 g almonds
3 egg whites
a layer of Polenta di Cittadella (or sponge cake) 1.5 cm high
half a glass of Marsala
a pinch of sales
ribbon or icing dark chocolate

For the zabaglione

5 yolks
500 g sugar
5 dl Strega or Benevento liqueur
80 g flour or cornstarch

Mix the sugar with butter, flour, salt, and almonds. Combine the mixture with the whipped egg whites and spread into a springform pan, 1 cm thick. Bake it at 180°C for 30 minutes, then let it cool.
Prepare the zabaglione with the ingredients above.
Spread half of the zabaglione on the almond paste base, place the sponge cake or Cittadella polenta on top, sprinkle with Marsala. Finish with the remaining zabaglione and keep cool for a few hours.
Decorate with ribbons of dark chocolate.

For the sponge cake

8 eggs
220 g starch
200 g sugar
14 g cream of tartar
5 g baking soda
grated lemon to taste

Whip the egg yolks with the sugar, adding the starch and grated lemon, then, slowly, the egg whites, the cream and the bicarbonate. Pour the mixture into a previously buttered and floured pan with a rather high edge.
Bake (warm but not very hot) for about 30/40 minutes and let it cool.



Award-winning pastry shops

Padua: Alfio, Ballico, Breda, Celso, Estense, Fontana, Graziati, Guariento, Mazzari, Milk Bar, Racca, San Marco, Wiennese
Camposampiero: Cappelletto
Casale di Scodosia: Seghetto
Conselve: Oberti
Curtarolo: Gardellin
Loreggia: Mognon
Piove di Sacco: Da Molin, Milanese
Ponte San Nicolò: Embasy
Teolo: Delizia Maistrello
Vigonza: Marchioro, Novello


The Patavinitas emblem

One cannot speak of Paduan pastry without mentioning the Pazientina. A legend tells that it was created in the seventeenth century in a Benedictine convent or monastery. Made of Brescia pasta, zabaglione, sponge cake (or Polentina of Cittadella) and chocolate, it had a moderate amount of calories, intended to reinvigorate the plague sufferers of the time. This is perhaps where the name comes from, although there are other interpretations, i.e. the patience to prepare it, the existence of other Paduan desserts called ‘pazienze’, the necessary waiting time before being able to taste it, to consent its proper setting… No source, however, can vouch for one historical reconstruction or the other, thus the charm of the legend remains. Its distinguishing features are mentioned by Pietro Vincenzo Fracanzani, a member of Accademia Italiana della Cucina, according to the recipe book of the Luni family dating back to 1925: “La Pazientina brings together three typical specialties of the Patavinitas confectionery: almond paste, Polenta di Cittadella, and zabaglione”.



Group photo after the award ceremony of the historic pastry shops of Padua and its province. 




Articoli simili