Authentic flavor  November 2010

Fall is sweet in Cremona

Among the specialty foods of Cremona, torrone is hands down the most famous. This sweet, white treat is fit for a king


Treats from Cremona

The small city located along the Po River has more to offer than just torrone

In addition to torrone, Cremona is famous for its mostarda, a spicy compote made with candied fruit and mustard oil, as well as its musical traditions. Cremona is actually home to the most famous workshop for the making of violins.
Stradivari and Guarnieri del Gesù violins are among the best in the world and have been owned by kings and queens. In the violin room of the Palazzo del Comune, there is a Cremonese 1715, masterpiece made by Antonio Stradivari, on display.
Cremona is also the birthplace of Claudio Monteverdi, maestro of religious music, as well as Mina, an Italian pop music star, and actor Ugo Tognazzi. In addition, Cremona was the first city in Italy with a nursery school.


Life in Cremona moves slowly, almost hidden in the thick fog of the Lombardy lowlands. It is almost like the past doesn’t want to go away. It comes as no surprise that this timeless city, described by Hermann Hesse as a dream in the middle of the plains, is the capital of torrone – a simple nougat that requires time and patience to make.

Served for the first time in 1441 at the wedding reception of Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria Visconti, torrone is made of almonds, honey and egg whites, shaped to look like the Torrazzo, once called Torrione, the tallest tower (torre in Italian) in Europe. The stone tower is 111 meters tall.

Today, torrone is the signature sweet of Cremona and is one of the products featured on culinary tours of the city (Strada del gusto cremonese).
Classic torrone is made with top-quality ingredients and can be flavored with aromas varying from vanilla to mint, citron, orange, cinnamon or even coffee. Loved throughout the world, torrone is celebrated each year with its own festival, the Festa del torrone The next festival will take place from November 19 to 21, 2011 and will include tastings, gala dinners and theater performances.

Up until a couple decades ago, there were plenty of small-scale torrone makers, but now they have almost all disappeared. For the most part, torrone is made on the industrial scale using special technology to speed up the process, while maintaining quality.

One of the most famous producers of torrone is the Sperlari family who has been in the business since 1836. The Enea Sperlari shop, located on via Solferino, bares the oldest commercial license in the province of Cremona. The store has been manages for generations by various members of the Sperlari family. Sperlari made torrone for the royal families of Queen Margherita in 1921 and Umberto, the Prince of Piemonte, in 1929.  Each year, Sperlari sells only 6,000 bars of torrone, the sign of a the quality of their sweets is here to stay.

Info: Negozio Sperlari, via Solferino 25 a Cremona. Telephone: 0372.22346.

Silvia Ugolotti

Tags: , , , , ,

3 “Fall is sweet in Cremona”

  1. BetsyNancy says:

    ‘ Nougat ‘ candy or ‘Mostarda’ chutney as presents of the holidays to give away besides enjoy about into holiday’s times ! Cremona’s a town to visit some day in Pedimonte.

  2. RSA Now says:

    My goodness that looks amazing! The mostarda sounds very good too, an interesting mix of flavors

  3. [...] 12:44 and is filed under Authentic flavor, . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own [...]

Leave a Reply