21 Feb 2017

The story of the babà  , a Pole in Naples

The baba is Polish and Stanislao Leszczinski, king of Poland, knows something about it! A stressed sovereign and an appetite too greedy have made possible the invention of this delicious dessert with a very particular taste, which over time has become the symbol of our local confectionery.

Deprived of his reign and bound in the Duchy of Lorraine, Stanislao did not pass very well and his cooks tried to sweeten his days by preparing him a local cake, the kugelhupf, which was not much appreciated. This dessert was prepared with a type of fine flour, butter, sugar, eggs, brewer’s yeast and sultanas, but it lacked some ingredient, because it lacked that “I do not know” to make it special, soft and wet.

Read also: The black baba

Stanislaus used to raise his elbow a little at the table because he loved to drink, and soon next to the wine, he began to nurture a strong passion for rum that led him without knowing it towards the future invention of the baba. One day, in fact, while he was drinking his usual small glasses, he was seized by a sudden desire for sweet and when the waiter proposed him once again his hated “kugelhupf”, the irascible sovereign threw the dish into the air and he threw it violently against the rum bottle, completely overturning the contents on the cake.

However, this episode was just what made him sweet because, under the stunned look of all, Stanislao tasted his composition of luck and found it exquisite, making that strange novelty his favorite dessert. He then decided to give it a name and chose that of Ali Baba, protagonist of the famous story of “A Thousand and One Nights” which, being one of his favorite books, could fully receive this honor. In this way, the dessert was born, which today we consider a pillar of Neapolitan pastry.

It is superfluous to add, because the facts have shown it on their own, that the invention of the sovereign was a huge success all over the world, and in Naples in particular had its final arrangement in the shape of a mushroom that consecrated it as a typically Neapolitan dessert .