Colomba: a cake symbol of Easter

In Italy there is a special dessert that is considered the symbol of Easter: the Colomba! Legend says that the origin of the Colomba dates back to the Lombard era, when King Alboin, during the siege of the city of Pavia, which lasted about three years and ended just before the Easter period, received a gift from the local population a sweet bread in the shape of a dove as a sign of peace. According to another story of the Lombard tradition, the first creator of the dessert was San Colombano, an Irish monk who arrived at the court of the Lombard sovereigns, who invited him to a sumptuous lunch. San Colombano did not want to transgress the commanded abstention from meat during Lent and to overcome the embarrassment of the situation, the monk agreed to eat the meal after having blessed the courses. But when the man laid his hands on, the plates of meat turned into white doves of bread! But the invention and marketing of the Easter dove as we know it today took place around 1930 starting from an idea of the advertiser Dino Villani who worked for a well-known Milanese confectionary company and who thought of launching a typical Easter cake on the market. saving up. As? Simple: he thought of "recycling" the same panettone dough and the machinery used for the production of the Christmas cake. The innovation of the dessert was its shape (that of a dove, which has always been an Easter symbol) and the surface covered with amaretto and almond icing. Needless to say it was a success!