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Strawberry French Toast, made with Italian ‘colomba’

Two quick premises: one year ago a terrible earthquake destroyed the beautiful city of L’Aquila and the surroundings country, towns and villages in Abruzzo. The whole country was terribly moved by this event, and everyone tried to do his best to support the renaissance of life and hope in Abruzzo. Things are going really slow, and everyone’s efforts are requested to let peopole come back to their normal daily life.  A group of foodbloggers decided to give birth to 99 colombe, to help a local sweet factory, Sorelle Nurzia, to step back from the crisis.

99 as the number of taps into the famous L’Aquila fountain; colombe, the plural form for colomba, dove, it’s a traditional Easter recipe, a sweet bread shaped like a dove. The intent of 99 colombe is not to promote a one-off sale, but to spread the knowledge and the name of the company and its products – usually very popular but in a limited area –  outside its traditional context.

So, one year after the terrible earthquake, it’s time to let my dove fly, time to publish my recipe, especially studied for the blog 99 colombe, a simple recipe that can represente in its essence the hope for a new beginning for Aquila and Abruzzo.

The recipe I chose is a classic English brunch recipe, a French toast, made with a slice of colomba instead of bread or brioche. Brunch for a good start, so that this new year may represent a new beginning for those affected by the earthquake, brunch because is a time of day when you spend relaxing and joyful time with family or friends.

I made two versions of french toast, a rich and tasty one and a rather light recipe, but no less good.

Ingredients – Yummy version:

  • Sorelle Nurzia colomba with candied fruit, 1 slice 1 cm thick
  • heavy cream
  • icing sugar
  • milk, 50 ml
  • egg, 1
  • butter
  • fresh strawberries
  • maple sugar
Rinse strawberries and cut them into thin slices, season with maple sugar – it is , apparently, the best existing sugar to make sweet and has a delicious after taste that recalls, of course, maple syrup – and let them marinate for a while, setting apart. Whip cream until  it forms soft peaks  and add a tablespoon of powdered sugar.

Cut a colomba into slices about 1 cm thick. Dip them in beaten egg with milk and fry in a pan with melted butter on both sides until golden. Put colomba slices in a dish, cover with a generous spoonful of whipped cream and pour over strawberries  and their the juice. Dust with icing sugar, garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately.


Ingredients – Light Version:

  • Sorelle Nurzia colomba with candied fruit, 1 slice 1 cm thick
  • heavy cream
  • icing sugar
  • ricotta cheese
  • fresh strawberries
  • maple sugar
Instead of using whipped cream, make a mix using half whipped cream and half ricotta cheese: mix them until you have a smooth and velvety cream. Do not brown colomba slices, but simply toast them. Then proceed to assemble the light French toast as for the other and eat until warm.

I do not know which one I prefer… do I have to choose? I can easily have both of them!

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This Post Has 9 Comments
  1. I’ve had colombe before in America and never know anything about it other than we eat at Easter. This post is so moving because out of destruction comes these recipes to re-nourish life. Just a lovely sampling of how life cycles through life, death, and re-birth. Grazie <3

  2. Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

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