The Festival of Torrone in Cremona
Torrone is a typical Christmas Italian treat, great symbol of the history of Italian cuisine. Festivals of local patrons and sagre are the right moments and places where you can find this traditional cake. Several types of torrone and different fillings attract great eaters but there are events entirely dedicated to this cake: one of the most famous ones is the Torrone festival in Cremona. The legends associated to its birth in this part of Italy or the fact that it is a traditional appointment make this town the only protagonist in the field during the third weekend of November.
It seems that this cake was first served in Cremona as a dessert at the wedding banquet of Bianca Maria Visconti and Francesco Sforza. The Visconti had asked the chef to invent a new cake for that special event and by mixing whipped honey, almonds and egg whites a hard cake was made: it is what today is renowned as torrone, whose name comes from the word torre, tower, by which it was inspired.
In the production of torrone, Cremona is threatened by other Southern towns in its supremacy of invention and creation. However, the festival of torrone is certainly one of the most renowned celebration of this cake in Italy that does not fear competition.
The festa del torrone usually takes place in the third week of November. The special guest of the festival is the Cremonese torrone challenging the hardest teeth but eating this cake is not the only activity that can be done during the visit. In fact each year there is a program based on a theme which is considered to be the central topic of the festival.
However, the most evocative and everlasting appointment is the historic celebration of the wedding performance: the town goes back to 1430 to recreate the historic event of the engagement of Bianca Maria Visconti to Francesco Sforza through the palio del torrone. The palio consists in a challenge among some archers who will take part in the competition. Dances, songs, flag throwers and chevaliers will open the historic palio. The winner is awarded the prize on the stage at the light of fireworks and at the rhythm of music.
Torrone is not the only topic to be celebrated in the festival. In fact there are activities suitable for all types of target.
The festival of torrone is for adults as well as for children: several entertaining activities are organized for children. From games, going through music labs and ending up with cooking biscuits and using the same ingredients that can be found in the torrone, children will spend a playful and cheerful time during the event.
Moreover, other events are organized within the activities; the highlights are certainly the award of the prize torrone d’oro, golden torrone, and the several gastronomic tastings where it is possible to try several local recipes together with other products of Italy, apart from the protagonist ingredient.
Torrone d’oro is a prize awarded to a famous and well-known person who represents and has become the symbol of the town, because it is linked to that territory for several reasons, in Italy and all over the world. Sport, journalism, acting, football are only some of the fields the awarded people belong to.
From the special Italian cake torrone to art, photography or special labs everything is included in this autumn festival turning not only around what is the emblem of the town. Cremona does compete the production of torrone with other Italian towns but the festival is certainly a unique event exclusively organized by the town and customized to it.