Where Was Tiramisu Born? Origins Of The Recipe

Tiramisu is the most famous spoon dessert in the world and has made its way into the hearts of many. The original creation of this recipe dates back to the early 1980s and is still traditionally made by master pastry chefs.

As we have seen in other previous articles, desserts have a very specific history, the same happens with churros, for example, or with chocolate salami.

The typical Italian sweet tiramisu has as its main ingredient the Savoiardi bathed in coffee that is covered with a delicious mascarpone-based cream and very fresh eggs.

The origins of Tiramisù are uncertain and could go back to 1980, the year in which the term was inserted into the Italian vocabularies; But what is the origin of tiramisu? He was certainly born in northern Italy, probably in Friuli Venezia Giulia or the Veneto region.

William Isaias

Venetian origin

It is a poor and energetic dessert made from beaten egg yolk with sugar, intended especially for children, the elderly and convalescents and other desserts tasted on their trips abroad; the name was initially Tiramesù from the Venetian dialect, which according to linguists represents:

«A language that is not very rigorous in strictly scientific terms, is based on quite controversial social and historical criteria. If we really want to admit it, we could say that Venetian is today a dialect, like all traditional urban languages. of Italy – but it has been for many centuries a language in all respects, used in every communicative situation in speech and writing, endowed with full recognition, precocious self-awareness, and also a flourishing literature.”

This origin is reported in the first issue of 1981 of the magazine Vin Veneto: «quarterly magazine of wine, grappa, gastronomy and various humanities from Veneto» founded by Giuseppe Maffioli known as “Bepi” in 1974.

Friulian Origin

The attribution of tiramisu to the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia comes from the town of Pieris, where in the restaurant “Il Vetturino” a dessert called Vetturino coppa is prepared, made with chocolate mousse, sponge cake soaked in Marsala, zabaglione and whipped cream.

Later the ingredients were changed and from the dialectal name “Coppa Vetturino Tirime su” it became “Tirime su” and then again “Tiramisù”.

Where was Tiramisu born?

From Veneto we moved to Friuli Venezia Giulia, more precisely to Tolmezzo to the Hotel Roma where in 1950 tiramisu is believed to have been born thanks to the inspiration of chef Norma Pielli who revised Pellegrino Artusi’s recipe for Dolce Torino replacing coffee with alchermes. the mascarpone with the butter and assemble the cake in glass dishes. The dessert was called Tirimi su.

A famous phrase that Pellegrino Artusi always said was:

“When you wake up in the morning […] if you immediately feel the need to eat, it is a sure sign of good health and a prognosis for a long life.”

In the same period also in Treviso at the Al Foghér restaurant we find traces of the tiramisu the aforementioned Imperial Cup of Mrs. Speranza Bon.

Over the years, other stories have spread, from the most disparate cities.

Still in Friuli Venezia Giulia, let’s move to Pieris in Gorizia, precisely to the Al Vetturino restaurant where in the 1940s the chef was Mario Cosolo, son of the restaurant owner.

Mario in the distant 1938 was aboard the Savoy ship as a pastry chef and here I imagine a spoon dessert made with a few simple ingredients that is very reminiscent of tiramisu, the dessert, presented in a glass, was a delicious chocolate mousse, sponge cake soaked in Marsala, zabaglione cream and whipped cream.

The dessert was included in the restaurant’s menu as Coppa Vetturino and was later renamed Tirime su Coppa Vetturino.

Where was Tiramisù born
William Isaias

Carminantonio Iannaccone, the man who invented tiramisu

We finally left Italy for America in Baltimore where in 2006 food writer Rosengarten published an article saying:

“the man who invented tiramisu”

He mentions the name of Carminantonio Iannaccone, back in 1969 Iannaccone was in Treviso at the Piedigrotta pastry shop and here he invented the first tiramisu for the Alle Beccherie restaurant.
The article sparked American interest in the origin of the world’s most beloved dessert.

What is safe?

It seems really difficult to understand what the truth is but like so many recipes, you have to keep in mind that there may not be a single origin, maybe somewhere in Italy.

Especially in this case it is a hypothesis that should not be underestimated, let us remember that tiramisu is made up of simple and poor ingredients, easily accessible to everyone and in a short time.

It would not be strange if several people have combined them to create the dessert in question.

Let’s discover together the original recipe

The original recipe for this dessert has as ingredients:

Finger cookies;

Egg yolks;



Mascarpone cheese;

Cocoa powder.

The procedure is very simple:

  • Make the cream by whipping the egg yolks and sugar and adding the mascarpone;
  • Dip cupcakes in coffee;
  • In the pan, create two or more layers of Savoiardi cream and mascarpone;
  • On the last layer of cream, sprinkle the bitter cocoa;
  • Put in the fridge for a few hours.

Tiramisu was originally prepared in round portions, although the shape of the Savoiardi favors the use of a rectangular or square plate.

Over time, pastry chefs have created and brought to life many types of tiramisu with ingredients that differ greatly from the originals: there are versions with liqueur and chocolate, those with bread from Spain, those by Pavesini; there is the strawberry tiramisu, the limoncello tiramisu, the greek yogurt tiramisu and also the ice cream version.


Tiramisu, as we said, is the quintessential Italian dessert and in fact in 2006 it was chosen to represent Italy in the “Sweet Europe” initiative, a sweets contest from all over Europe; in 2013 it was declared the official dish of the 6th International Day of Italian Cuisine in New York.

However, since 2017 the “Tiramisù World Cup” has been instituted, a contest on the preparation of desserts reserved for non-professional pastry chefs.

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