One of the best desserts you can eat in Bologna is the rice cake.
Its name and look doesn't seem that inviting but, like the best of Bologna, you need to taste it to uncover its goodnesses.
A unique name for a unique cake: the legend of Torta degli Addobbi
Torta degli Addobbi is a sweet rice cake that was traditionally prepared during the Feast of the Decorations.
During this Christian event, established since the 700' in Bologna, it was customary to expose colored drapes (addobbi in Italian) at the windows, as a sign of celebration.
On that occasion the homes of parishioners were open to visits by neighbors and acquaintances and guests were offered this cake. This rice cake was offered cut into small diamonds, each topped with a toothpick.
A cake loved by the pilgrim
The science in the kitchen and the art of eating well by Pellegrino Artusi
"The science in the kitchen and the art of eating well" by local writer and gastronome Pellegrino Artusi is the most popular Italian cookbook.
790 recipes, collected by the author with passion within years of countless trips and published for the first time in 1891.
"The Artusi", as we call it, is the first and most famous Italian cookbook, the one from which all the great cooks of the last century have drawn inspiration and suggestions.
It's an unusual work that enhances the pleasure of eating well: more than a recipe book is a book of taste, full of dissertations, ideas and funny comments about food that recalls the warmth of friendly discourse.
Recipe n°638 is Bolognese rice cake, with just a few differences between the recipe you can find in Bologna bakeries (no liquor but bitter almonds).
Bolognese rice cake recipe
120 g Arborio rice
1 l of milk
150 g of sugar
100 g of candied citron
100 g of chopped almonds
the grated rind of 1 lemon
1 shot of liquor (we usually use bitter almond liquor, but you can use rum or other)
Where to buy rice cake in Bologna
If you're in Bologna and you'd like to taste torta degli addobbi you can find it in most of the best bakeries of Bologna.
Or try during one of our food tours in Bologna.
Unfortunately the rice cake needs to be eaten within 2/3 days since it was baked.
It can 't be frozen so it's a joy that you can't take home as a food souvenir.
But under the towers of Bologna it tastes even better.