Fig Cake De.Co. of Albarola
Here is a speciality that you can enjoy only at Albarola in the municipality of Vigolzone: the fig cake, a dessert that may seem unusual in the Po Valley. Nevertheless, the fig cake received De.Co. recognition in 2006, certifying its origin in precisely this area.
There is a historical reason: in the 17th century there was a Jesuit house here (today the Villa Peyrano), and when the Fathers returned from their travels, they always brought something particular that they had discovered in the lands where they had worked on the missions.
Once they brought back fig trees, which found an ideal climate in Albarola, grew and flourished.
The trees bore so many figs that they started to dry them and to bake them so as to preserve them after the harvest.
This was how the cake was created, and the recipe is that used by the Jesuits' cooks at the end of the 17th century.
There are two versions, both delicious. The first is an open tart with figs laid in a case of lemon-flavoured pastry, the other where the figs are the filling of a closed tart.
The best times to taste the fig cake are June or September, when the figs are at their best and sweetest.
In September there is a festa in Albarola dedicated to the figs and the De.Co. fig cake.