The restaurateur Ado Campeol, nicknamed by the Italian media “the father of tiramisu”, died at the age of 93.
Campeol was the owner of Alle Beccherie, a restaurant in northern Italy where the famous dessert was invented by his wife and a chef.
The dish, with biscuits soaked in coffee and mascarpone, was added to their menu in 1972 but never patented by the family.
It has since become a staple of Italian cuisine, adapted by chefs from around the world.
There has been longstanding controversy over the origin of tiramisu, including claims that it served as an aphrodisiac in a brothel in the northern Italian town of Trevisio.
However, it is widely accepted that the recipe was developed in the Campeol restaurant in the city.
Among those who paid tribute was Luca Zaia, governor of the Veneto region, tweeting that the city had “[lost] another star of its food and wine history “.
Alle Beccherie was opened by the Campeol family in 1939 and Campeol took over the business at the end of World War II.
According to the co-inventor of the dessert, chef Roberto Linguanotto, the dish was the result of an accident during the preparation of vanilla ice cream.
Mr. Linguanotto dropped some mascarpone in a bowl of eggs and sugar, and after noticing the pleasant taste of the dough, he told Campeol’s wife Alba.
The two then perfected the dessert by adding coffee-soaked ladyfingers and sprinkling it with cocoa – calling it Tireme Sù, which translates into English as “pick me up”.
The dish appeared in print in a 1981 issue of Veneto, a local newspaper dedicated to food and wine, and is today one of the best known desserts in Italy.
The variants of tiramisu contain alcohol such as rum or marsala, but the original recipe – certified by the Italian Academy of Cuisine in 2010 – was non-alcoholic because it was designed to be suitable for children.
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