Every year, Italians eagerly await the return of La Colomba di Pasqua, or the “Easter dove.” Spring’s counterpart to the wintertime panettone, these dove-shaped cakes feature rich and fluffy dough topped with pearl sugar and almonds. At Eataly, we source our colombe from artisanal Italian bakers who follow family recipes perfected over generations. Made with natural yeast, rich golden eggs, butter, and carefully sourced flour, each cake is studded with tasty ingredients, such as pistachios, chocolate and beyond.
The history of colomba
We know that the first colomba came from Milano, but the story doesn’t end there. The cake has inspired legends of peace stretching back to the Middle Ages – and they’re all different
In one version, the colomba marks the 1176 Lombardian victory over the Holy Roman Empire, when two doves miraculously appeared on the battleground. Another legend suggests that the peace-inspiring cake was first baked in the sixth century by a young girl successfully pacifying the wretched King Albion of the Lombard tribe, who was demanding tribute from her hometown of Pavia. He loved the colomba so much that he set her free and spared Pavia. While we don’t know the real story, we can tell you one thing for sure: one slice of colomba is worth a legion of legends.
Delicious on its own, colomba is often served with fresh berries, drizzled in dark chocolate, slathered in sweet spreads, or paired with whipped cream. Italians will enjoy a slice with coffee for breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up! And at Eataly, we love to pair this festive cake with a glass of Prosecco or dessert wine.