If you have trouble viewing this video click here: http://youtu.be/ZIiQ2QWxa7M
While visiting the quaint town of Bergamo located in Lombardy, Italy little did we realize a unique Italian sweet originated from there. It was only after hearing about it from a local at lunch that we realized we had to go on mission to try and find one for dessert.
Well, it certainly didn’t take us long as Polenta e osei very distinctly stands out in many windows of Italian shops. The dome shaped polenta cake is cornmeal yellow and typically features marzipan sculptures on top. In this video we made the mistake of thinking polenta was actually added to the exterior of the cake; however, truth be told (and probably this is a good thing given that polenta is more of a savory ingredient) these sweet treats are actually only made to resemble a savory Polenta dish that typically features bird inside.
Everything about this snack is saturated in sugar. Normally we both have enough of a sweet tooth to finish a dessert on our own; however, we needed to help each other out to polish this one off. If you’re in Bergamo be sure to try Polenta e osei.
Good afternoon from the city of Bergamo. Today we took a day trip from Milan, we rode the train for less than an hour and we arrived at a completely new destination. So we’ve been exploring the town of Bergamo and we also learned that there is a dessert that is very popular in this city. And that is what I have right here.
This right here is called Polenta e osei. And Polenta is made from corn. It is kind of like a finely ground corn or maze. And it is usually served in savory dishes with like a tomato sauce or some type of other sauce. Um, but it has been turned into a dessert here. So we’re having sweet Polenta. And apparently the name means ‘a bird’ osei is meant to be bird in the local dialect. So yeah, bird polenta. That is what we’re having today.
Time to take a bite. Mmmm.
Bird polenta. Mmmm.
It’s supposed to be really sweet. Is it?
I wonder if it is just polenta on the exterior because look at the inside. It almost looks a little bit like cake. So I wonder if it is just the yellow coating that is the polenta. I’m not entirely sure. And is it sweet?
Oh, very sweet. Very sugary. I mean you can see the granulated sugar on the outside.
Super sweet. But yeah, it is a completely new dessert for me.
Want to give it a try? And it is unique to here.
We later discovered that the reason it tasted so sweet is because we had a lost in translation moment with our guide. The dessert we tried bares the exact same name as a savory polenta dish with a bird cooked inside. The dessert was given this name because from the exterior it looks just like polenta but when you bite in it is cake. A little confusing but nevertheless tasty.
Your turn to give it a try. Oh, he’s making out with it. Wow! That is some kind of sweet. What do you think?
Some kind of sweet? It is definitely tasty. Yeah. That is the kind of thing that I don’t think I could eat this whole thing. It is too sweet. It is a little overpowering isn’t it? It is.
You know, I feel quite lucky to have had the opportunity to try this today because we got a recommendation from a local upon arriving. And we had no idea that this even existed. Polenta as a dessert? Hmmmm.
Who knew? And now I think you should try whatever is on top there. Do you think that is marzipan?
It’s a kind of chocolate. I don’t know.
What is he doing?
Yeah, I think it is. Yeah?
It’s also really sweet. Wow. I’m getting a bit of a sugar high right now.
Do you think you can finish all of that? Is that like a challenge?
Oh. Does that mean challenge accepted?
Okay, try and describe this dessert for someone who has never had it before? Yeah, it is quite unique. So the outer layer here, you can see it is mostly granulated sugar and polenta. That is probably the sweetest parts. And inside it is kind of like a sponge cake with an icing filling.
And upon further research it looks like we’ve found a secret chocolate layer in the middle. Okay, so this is the dessert that keeps on giving basically. Yeah, basically.
So in terms of price point you can pick up this dessert at almost any pastry shop inside the old town. It costs three Euros and I found it so sweet that you can probably split it and share it with two people.