The city of Cremona is universally recognized as one of the historical origins of nougat.
Several theories exist about the origin of the product. The most well-documented one traces it back to the Arab world, from where production spread to Italy and other Mediterranean countries.
We do not definitely know when it first arrived in Cremona. It is proven though, as attested by several documents, that it was a characteristic product of the city in the sixteenth century, sufficiently known and appreciated for its distinctive taste to be sent by the noble Community of Cremona to the Spanish authorities and to the Senate in Milan during the holiday season.
In a seventeenth century manuscript, preserved in the Passerini Landi Library of Piacenza, is a detailed description of the preparation and recipe used to prepare the Torrone di Cremona, which is very similar to that still used today by those who follow the traditional recipe.
Torrone is a simple product with a unique look and taste, requiring high quality raw materials and a particular process. The characteristic of Cremona nougat is the use of almonds.
Until a few decades ago, nougat production in Cremona was a complex process rooted among skilled artisans, but from these arose some important companies of international renown, specialising in the production of Cremona’s famous sweet.
The production is predominantly commercial and makes use of modern technologies that have reduced the time needed by traditional techniques.
The hand made torrone produced in small quantities is more and more appreciated by an increasing number of people. The notoriety of the torrone has now meant that the local organisations of Cremona devised the idea of a festival to promote the product, which is repeated every year on the occasion of the anniversary of the wedding of the famous bride and groom of Cremona, that involves the whole city reinventing the wedding in period costumes.
There is no historical background that gives evidence to Turunina in ancient times.
Indeed, it represents a good example of how traditional Cremona products are used in the development of bakery products.
The birth of the Turunina cake dates back to the late nineties, when the imagination and creativity of confectioners in Cremona used nougat, a symbol of the city’s tradition to create a new product.
Cremona IGP salami is made using lean meats, the thigh, the fat and the pink lard with streaks of newly Italian born raised and slaughtered pigs identified by certification.
It is characterised by the presence in the mixture of crushed garlic and spices.
It is made from a mixture of lean pork, seasoned with salt, red wine, pepper, herbs and a little sugar. The sausage is placed in its casing and then left to dry and mature. The name “vanilla” is traditionally reserved for “COTECHINI” (sausages) produced “up to where you can hear the bells of the Cathedral” meaning, of course, the Cathedral of Cremona, and derives its name from the particular sweetness of its taste.
The mostarda di Cremona is a traditional dish made by adding mustard to candied fruit. Served with meats and cheeses, it adds a sweet spicy taste.
The first document that associates the mustard with Cremona is a recipe “Pour faire de moutarde Cremone”, not too dissimilar from today with the ingredients contained in a book “Ouverture de cousine par maistre Lancelot de Casteau”, printed in Liège in 1604. Other historical recipes were written in 1666 and 1866.
Cremona mustard is also extensively spoken about in documents of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Cavalcabò Augustine informs us that in 1774 workers were active in Cremona’s 20 nougat factories with Cremona mustard production employing a total of 40 employees. Originally, the mustard was produced by family run businesses. The quality of their product was so good that they became famous in Cremona and surrounding areas, so much so that Francesco Cherubini in his vocabulary Milanese – Italian (1839-1843), about mustard, states that “the package that is manufactured in Cremona, according to the method of the people from Cremona… is the most exquisite we have”.
The reports of the Chamber of Commerce from 1854 for several years, show the importance on the economy of Cremona, by the production of mustard and this is confirmed by historians such as Angelo Grandi (1856) and Francesco Robolotti (1859). The “Handbook Chef” by Giuseppe Gorrini (1884) shows the recipe for Cremona’s mustard packed with ” apples , pears, pumpkins, ripe figs , dried peach , citrus pieces, … honey, sugar and mustard .”The product is also known outside of Lombardy and is associated with the name of Cremona.
In a detailed report by the Chamber of Commerce, supporting statistics on Cremona industries in 1907, it is stated that mustard is a local speciality, manufactured by numerous companies operating in the city area. There are two versions: a cheaper one which uses honey as a sweetener and a more expensive one with sugar, and that in addition to sales in Italy and in Europe there is an active export trade to the Americas (main areas New York and Buenos Aires).
Currently, production is predominantly industrial or semi-industrial.
The De.Co. mark wants to promote the restoration and development of the production of traditional Cremona mustard, as a craft capable of generating significant benefits for the economy of the city.
The marubino is the typical stuffed pasta of Cremona. Already being prepared in ancient times and evidence is seen in an inventory of 1572 in which it appears, among other assets bequeathed to a home, even a “rodella da far li marobini”. There are several arguments as to the origin of the name: some say it derives from the shape of the leaves of the marrobbio, a herb with jagged leaves, and some from the “marù” a dialect word, which means which means “chestnut” also implying the measure (amount) that should be given as a maximum in a portion filling of the stuffed pasta. The first time that this pasta is featured and defined as “marubino” is in the book “Il re dei cuochi ossia l’arte di mangiare al gusto degli italiani” which contains the recipe.
The marubini are of circular or square shape. The savory filling is obtained by chopping braised beef, roast beef, roast pork, grated cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, spices and a sprinkling of nutmeg. They are prepared only in broth/soup with the broth, rich and very flavoursome, making them even more appetising, comes from the cooking of three different types of meat, usually chicken, beef and veal, or chicken, beef and sausage. This is a typical menu for Christmas dinner and of Cremona, in the past they were also enjoyed before the meal with the addition of red wine.
Testi presi dal sito Circuito città d’arte