Commonly mistaken by people as a Japanese dish because of the sound of its name, Tiramisu is, as a matter of fact, a popular Italian dessert.
It is made of alternating layers of savoiardi (ladyfingers in the US) biscuits dipped in coffee and whipped mixture of mascarpone (Italian triple cream cheese) and egg yolks. Sifted on top or in-between layers, is cocoa powder which serves as a garnish and gives a bitter taste to balance the sweetness of the cheese mixture. This recipe has been modified to many kinds of cakes, puddings and other desserts.
Its origin has been a topic of debate for numerous individuals. Some say that it is a version of the zuppa inglese, a layered dessert which is a counterpart of the English trifle. Fernando and Tina Raris, however, said in 1998 that it was created just recently. For them, while older recipes of other sweet treats were comparable to that of the Tiramisu, it was first featured in Giuseppe Di Clemente’s article in 1971. There were others that believed that it was first made in Treviso at a restaurant named Le Beccherie by Francesca Valori, the god-daughter of Roberto Linguanotto, a confectioner. The girl’s maiden name was said to be Tiramisu, thus the name of the dessert. Other people, on the other hand, claim that its origin was in Siena, Italy.
There is even a myth that it was created at an Italian brothel, with its initial purpose being an energy booster for tired customers.