When I discovered that among the specialities of CinqueTerre exists a sweet called the Stalìn cake I was really surprised! Obviously, at the first moment, I thought about the Russian dictator. However, the Ligurian Stalìn has the accent on “I” … so what does it mean?… here is the story of the Stalìn cake 🙂
The Stalìn cake is not a tribute to the most famous moustached individual in history. Or at least, not directly. Stalìn, was the nickname and probably also the name of battle of a pastry chef from Vernazza. Name of battle because the Stalìn from Cinque Terre was a partisan. I don’t know how he got into guerrilla warfare, but it is sure that he knew cooking 🙂 Considering that about thirty years ago he created the cake that today takes its name, he knew how to prepare a delicious meal 🙂 Of course, such a nickname inspires a certain fear, but by tasting his cake I am sure that he could not be a bad person!
The Stalìn cake is composed of a thin layer of jam and two thicker layers of custard and chocolate cream, all wrapped in two layers of shortcrust pastry. Delicious!
Where can you find it?
The Stalìn ice-cream shop is located in one of the most evocative places of Vernazza, on a small raised terrace at the intersection of two streets. It is located on via Roma, the main road of the village, the one that goes down from the train station. On the left from the ice-cream shop, there is a cave, above which the houses of the highest part of the village are perched. At the time when Stalìn created his cake, it was possible to access another part of the coast. Over the years the sea had eroded that beach, coming to touch the entrance of the cave. However, after the disastrous flood of 2011 was recreated the beach beyond the opening between the rocks. Nowadays, you can go there and take a bath.
I want to add that you can find other cakes that are similar to the Stalìn cake. They were created with some, small variations, in the other villages of the Cinque Terre. In particular, in Monterosso exists a cake called Monterossina.
Liguria can sometimes seem a bit hard for tourists. But the beauty of the landscapes will balance out all the difficulties and disadvantages! And if all of this will not be enough, you can make up for it with the sweetness of a nice slice of Stalìn cake 🙂