Panna Cotta

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

panna cotta also crema cotta, an Italian dessert made with cream (panna) and sugar mixed together and brought to a simmer with some added milk and a little gelatin, then moulded and chilled. If a flavouring is used, it should be delicate.

This preparation is particularly associated with Piedmont. Doglio (1995) states in his dictionary of Piedmontese gastronomy that the flavouring can be of rum (not delicate), and that the mould into which the mixture is poured is lined with caramelized sugar. He refers also, without endorsing it, to a story that this dessert originated with a Hungarian woman living in the Langhe district of Piedmont in the early part of the 19th century. Her version apparently included egg, coffee, and vanilla.