Anyone visiting Campania must try the Babà: big, small, with cream, mushroom-shaped, sliced, the important thing is to try it.
This dessert, although typical of the Campania tradition, where it must be strictly pronounced “Babbà“, was not born in Naples, nor in any other city in Campania.
The story of the Babà begins in Poland. King Stanislaus used to “delight” himself with the desserts prepared at court, but he just could not digest one of them that was too dry. It is said that one day, after several attempts at improvement by his chefs, the king, in all his fury, threw the cake breaking a bottle of Rhum. The dessert was soaked with this liqueur, and the king, a great drinker, was delighted. The Babà was born. But not the one as we know it today.
The mushroom shape that distinguishes the Babà, and the french pronunciation of its name, were given to him by the French pastry chefs in 1800. But how did the Babba come to France? All thanks to the daughter of the Polish sovereign, who, on the occasion of his wedding with Louis XV, brought one of his pastry chefs with him.
Surely the babà eaten in France in 1800 did not have that magical touch that he received from the mastery of the Neapolitan pastry chefs. But how did it get here from France? It was the French chefs who served in the noble Neapolitan families. Since then, if the Babbà is associated with the Neapolitan tradition, it is almost certainly because it is here that it was made unique in the world, adding to it that something more, starting for the double “b” sound!
If someone tells you “si nu babbà ”, don’t be offended, it’s a compliment!
You just have to try the Babbà and for those who love cooking, there are many recipes on the internet. For any advice, feel free and write to me on Whatsapp by clicking the button at the bottom right. I’ll ask my Mum everything!