January 21, 2022 3 min read

. Diary 21 Jan 22

Yesterday I wrote about Bien and I being at the Frederico Felini's 100th Birthday celebration in Rimini Italy.  In true "La dolce vita" style, the birthday celebrations were planned for the whole year but on his actual birthday we happened to be in Rimini. Celebrations that night was a street party and culminated in the cutting of a 2 metre high birthday cake.

The birthday cake was created by master pastry chef Roberto Rinaldini. A sweet interpretation inspired by Fellini's favourite dessert Zuppe Inglese. 

Zupee Inglese is translated as "English Soup" and consists of layers of sponge cake, crema pasticcera ( a thicker custard), fruits and alcohol. Origins of the recipe are unclear. According to Wikipedia , one theory is that it originated in the 16th century kitchens of the Duke of Este who had frequently visited England. Another theory online suggests that it was a dessert that originated in central Italy in which Rum was originally used to marinate the fruit and sponge. English sailors were known for drinking rum and so hence the English Soup title. 

Crema Pasticcera is made using egg yolks, flour, sugar, milk and lemon zest - I found a lovely Cream Pasticcera recipe . Its thicker than a normal custard and makes desserts super special.

The Rinaldini dessert was delicious. Even more fun because there we were in the middle of winter standing amidst so many locals  enjoying Fellini's 100th Birthday cake! As we and the crowd around us indulged, it was an easy next step to agree to go the next day to the Rinaldini store.

Rinaldini is also from Rimini. He opened his first shop in 2000. About 7 years later he opened his second store. Now he has stores in various cities Italian cities including Milan and Florence.  And by the way if you are standing bored (or hungry)  waiting for the train at Roma Termini the electric pink stripes of the Rinaldini Termini store will quickly avert your attention. In fact you're likely to miss the next train in favour of succumbing to the treats! 

A quick google check highlighted a 30 minute walk from our Airbnb to the store. The streets were relatively quiet and it was a pleasant early morning walk along the canal.

At one point we found ourselves on the beach on the coast. What a fabulous experience. Greyish sand, a blistering cold wind and the vast open Adriatic sea. It  was a moment to stop and pinch ourselves.  Packed away lounges and empty umbrella poles left only memories of the summer that had been. 

The street was suburban and lined with relatively modern buildings. Rinaldini's shop was set close to the road. Almost a diner look as it tucked into the front of an attached egg yellow apartment block. The street was relatively quiet but once inside the shop was a buzz. The queue to the counter was about 20 people deep.

Italians eat fast in the morning. It wasn't long before we secured a table. The Italian chatter, coffee aroma and the sun pouring in and bouncing off the pink tables was about as good as it could get!

Coffee, Bombolone oozing with creme pasticcera and a soft doughy Croissant filled with silky smooth hazelnut cream said "perfect breakfast". 

A breakfast to remember.


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