Cappello responds to Iginio Massari: Let’s protect Sicilian cassata with STG quality recognition

The recent statements made by the famous Lombard pastry chef Iginio Massari about Sicilian cassata, defined as a dessert that is difficult to export due to its overly sweet taste, were immediately responded to by Palermo pastry chef Giovanni Cappello.

During the Expocook fair in Palermo, at a cooking show in the Rattenuti company’s space, pastry chef Giovanni Cappello, son of renowned Palermo pastry chef Salvatore Cappello from a family-run pastry shop, made an impassioned plea to unite forces to obtain the recognition of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for cassata, a historic dessert that represents Sicilian tradition and culture. “The PGI – said Giovanni Cappello – would represent a fundamental protection for the quality and authenticity of cassata, protecting the original recipe and traditional production methods, enhancing a product of excellence that can drive the Sicilian economy.”

The historical roots of cassata date back to the 9th-11th centuries, during the Arab domination in Sicily. The meeting between Sicilian ricotta and ingredients introduced by the Arabs, such as sugar cane, citrus fruits, and almonds, gave birth to this regal dessert. Over the centuries, cassata has evolved, enriched with new flavors and shapes. The original shortcrust pastry was replaced by Marzipan, while chocolate artistry and Spanish sponge cake completed its baroque profile.

The Easter tradition of cassata is deeply rooted in Sicily. An ancient proverb reads: “Tintu is who doesn’t eat cassata on Easter morning.” A saying that emphasizes the importance of this dessert during the holidays. The shape and decoration of cassata, with its characteristic candied fruit, are due to Palermo pastry chef Salvatore Gulì, who in 1873, at an event in Vienna, presented a cassata that became a symbol of elegance and sophistication.

“Today – says Cappello – Sicily is preparing to become the “European Region of Gastronomy 2025″, so obtaining the PGI recognition for cassata would take on an even greater importance, fitting into a project of enhancing Sicilian identity through food and wine.”

The request for PGI for cassata, according to the Palermo pastry chef, “represents a fundamental step in protecting and enhancing a precious treasure that is part of the history and soul of Sicily. Joining forces to defend cassata means defending Sicilian culture and identity. A shared commitment to promote this iconic dessert worldwide, making it known and appreciated for its history, uniqueness, and priceless value.”

Pasticceria, Cappello risponde a Iginio Massari: «Proteggiamo la cassata siciliana con il riconoscimento di qualità STG»

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