For those looking for a culinary journey based on sweets, they will find great satisfaction: some will be developed by the pastry chefs of the city, others of Venetian origin, others related to the peasant tradition, and many related to the celebrations for the feast of St. Anthony , but now available all year round.
The creation of " Pazientina " and " Pazientini " is due to the inspiration of the Paduan pastry chefs . The first is a layered cake (Brescia pastry, sponge cake soaked in liqueur, zabajone cream) topped with wide and thin strips of chocolate. The second instead are biscuits prepared with almonds, hazelnuts, butter, without the use of eggs. Perfect for long storage.
Desserts of Venetian origin, but widely spread also in the Paduan area are Zaéti and Crostoli. Zaéti are common in taverns, such as in pastry shops, bakers and restaurateurs. Here they take on different shapes, sometimes round, sometimes quadrangular. The crostoli, on the other hand, can be tasted only during the carnival period and are found, with traditional pancakes, of apples or rice, in a little bit in all pastry shops. The variant of the " zaleto con i giuggiole " is instead a typical production of the Paduan area.
zaletiis the typical biscuit of Venetian origin, spread in the shape of a lozenge shaped, 3-4 cm, rustic cooked, produced with cornmeal, sugar, eggs, raisins, butter, 00 flour, pine nuts, salt, lemon, yeast , dusted with icing sugar. The "Zaletti" (in this case with the zibibbo) are already mentioned in the comedy of Carlo Goldoni "The good wife" of 1749.
Galani (in Venice), Crostoi (in Treviso), is the typical carnival cake, tasty and light, very fragile and vaporous, with bizarre shapes, also widespread throughout the region. The name derives from "galàn", that is ribbon, in the Venetian version and from "crust" for the crispness of the dessert, in the Paduan and Treviso denominations. The rustic and peasant desserts are much simpler and poorer, some widely spread and also industrial, others almost exclusively domestic.
Paduan Fugassa (focaccia) is a typical dessert of home cooking produced with yeast, flour, milk, eggs, sugar, butter, lemon peel and salt. The ingredients are mixed, left to rest and cooked in the oven. Produced throughout the province of Padua for an indefinable time.
Torta sgriesolóna o rosegòta o sbrisólona (known in Padua above all as "Fregolòtta" ) is a round oven-baked cake, about 1 cm high, particularly hard and at the same time crumbly, produced with gries flour, shelled and chopped almonds, butter, egg yolk, sugar, covered with a sheet of almond paste blanched. The ingredients are blended, placed in round shaped containers and cooked in the oven. The cake is left to rest for a day and then packaged; it has a very long duration. It is a traditional Venetian dessert, which came and is used by breaking it with your hands and eating it without the use of cutlery.
Torta figassa or fig cake is a round-shaped oven cake, made with yellow corn flour, egg yolks, dried figs macerated in grappa, butter, sugar, 00 flour, salt. The egg yolks are mixed with sugar and butter, mixed with soft wheat flour and corn flour and with the final addition of dried figs macerated in grappa and cut into small pieces; the mixture is inserted in special forms, cooked, left to cool and packaged, without the need for special conservation methods. It is a dessert of peasant tradition, made with poor ingredients, which is presumed to date back to the period after the First World War.
Smegiassa is a peasant cuisine dessert made with corn flour, wheat flour, cooking water for the nose, sugar, honey, raisins, dried figs, orange peel, grappa, oven-roasted pumpkin; in the south-eastern Paduan plain, pork greaves are used instead of the cooking water of the nose; in the current construction the cooking water of the nose or the pork cracklings are replaced, in some areas, with apples. The ingredients are mixed and cooked in the oven. This dessert has its roots in the Middle Ages when it was prepared without corn flour and using molasses instead of sugar. In the town tradition, lard was used instead of greaves, while current pastry production has also eliminated this in favor of butter.
From time immemorial also, it was customary for the friars of the Basilica of Sant'Antonio to offer the poor of the city and travelers to bread that over the years has been transformed, by the master pastry chefs of the area, into particularly appreciated desserts. Nowadays they are defined as the sweets of the Saint and are:
- Pan del Santo: baked cake made with type 00 soft wheat flour, eggs, sugar, almonds, chocolate chips, amaretto grains. The traditional and characteristic shape is that of "donut".
- Dolce del Santo, Dolce Santantonio:baked dessert stuffed with apricot jam, candied orange peel, sponge cake, marzipan with almonds or chopped amaretti, all wrapped in pastry; its particular shape recalls the halo placed on the head of Sant'Antonio; it is produced in sizes of 70 gr (mignon), 400 gr and 700 gr. The products are amalgamated, arranged by hand in various layers with codified procedures and particular care, cooked in the oven, left to rest for a day and packaged; the duration is three months without particular storage conditions.
- Amarettoni di Sant'Antonio:baked cake, biscuit cut, made up of small almonds, shelled and chopped almonds, sugar, candied orange, egg white. The egg white is whipped, the candied fruit and the shelled almonds are inserted, then the sugar, the dough is given the shape of a large biscuit, it is cooked and left to rest for a day on baking trays; it does not require seasoning and by its nature lends itself to long conservation. The recipe is taken from the "Dolce del Santo", of which they contain the same ingredients. The amarettoni have been produced since around 1960.
- Santantonio lace:pastry with eggs, flour, butter, sliced almonds and marsala. The ingredients are blended, the dough is given the shape of a pastry, covered with sliced almonds and baked in the oven.