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Italian Tramezzini With Celery Cream And D’Annunzio’ Words

Italian Tramezzini With Celery Cream And D'Annunzio' Words

The term tramezzino is one of the Italian words created by Gabriele D’Annunzio in the mid-1920s. Please, don’t call them sandwiches, they are tramezzini.

Italian Tramezzini With Celery Cream And D'Annunzio' Words

Sandwiches vs tramezzini.

Two slices of soft white bread, buttered, stuffed and stacked.

Before being called tramezzino in Italy, there was the sandwich.

D’Annunzio did not create a codified recipe, which had existed since the 18th century, he just invented an Italian term for that particular type of sandwich.

The inventor of the recipe was instead John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich who, although in a different era, as with D’Annunzio had a tumultuous life. Especially mundane affairs and card playing, to the point that in order not to leave his beloved table he invented the sandwich which, over the centuries, has become the “sandwich tea” of the English.

The origin of the tramezzino word.

It was D’Annunzio’s strong nationalism and his well-known dislike of the English (sorry!) that inspired him to look for an Italian word to call his beloved ‘panino’.

Gabriele D’Annunzio was a poet, writer, novelist, journalist, politician and patriot with an adventurous life. He was also an ante litteram fascist and leader of the Arditi, the autonomous assault corps of the Italian Army that was disbanded in 1920 after the events at Fiume.

The Vate, as the poet was called, hated even the idea of nibbling something that reminded him of “perfidious Albion”, how he called Great Britain.

In 1925, at the Caffè Mulassano in Turin, he tasted a particular sandwich stuffed with butter and anchovies. That panino was a tea sandwich and the Vate was caught by a simple but effective idea. That very good sandwich had to change its name and become Italian.

And since the tea sandwich is a snack between main meals, D’Annunzio, using a technical term from architecture, the tramezzo, which indicates an element placed between other two elements, just as the tramezzino indicates a food that is eaten between meals, invented the word tramezzino.

Italian Tramezzini With Celery Cream And D'Annunzio' Words

Tramezzini: what a passion, and two tricks.

Tramezzini are made with white bread, the kind specifically for sandwiches.

To make a good tramezzino, you need to spread a thin layer of butter or mayonnaise or mascarpone on the slices of bread. The ingredient you spread must be soft the white bread is delicate.

The second trick concerns resting.
If you want unforgettable tramezzini, don’t cut the bread at the beginning, use whole slices. Butter and stuff the two or more layers (but don’t exaggerate, three at the most), then close with the last slice of bread, make a light pressure with your hands and wrap the whole thing, quite tightly, in cling film.

Then, before cutting, leave to rest for an hour or, even better, overnight in the fridge.
This way, when cut, the sandwich will have acquired structure and flavor even without being filled with too much mayonnaise.

On the contrary, a good tramezzino should never have excess sauce.
Try it and let me know.

This sandwich is perfect for afternoon tea.

Buona cucina, Monica

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If you are on Instagram, you find me as @tortelliniandco. If you cook with me, share your job on instagram and, please!, talk about my food blog and make word-of-mouth, I live on it. I know my English is not perfect, but the recipes are all truly traditional and tested. Thank you!

Italian Tramezzini With Celery Cream Recipe

Food Tips:

Sandwiches are perfect as a snack, for a picnic basket, as an aperitif and, of course, for an Italian tea party.

Tea sandwiches have to be small.

Tip for Panino Lovers:

I developed a recipe for a Tuscan-style sandwich that you might like to prepare, it is made with Tuscan finocchiona, a very scented kind of salami, cheese, fresh pink grapefruit and avocado sauce.

Italian Tramezzini With Celery Cream Recipe

for many tramezzini

250 g white bread for sandwiches
butter or mascarpone cheese to taste
2-3 white celery stalks with leaves
150 g cooked ham
a pinch of salt


Wash and cut the celery stalks and leaves.

Chop celery and leaves in the mixer with a pinch of salt, oil and a couple of tablespoons of mascarpone or butter. Set aside.

Butter the whole slices of bread with a thin layer of butter or fresh mascarpone softened out of the fridge, except on the outer sides.

Then spread celery cream on the buttered bread, add a layer of cooked ham and close with a buttered slice of bread spread with some celery cream.

To make 3 layers, make as described above.

Wrap the sandwiches, not yet cut, in cling film, tightly, and refrigerate for a couple of hours or, better still, overnight.

After this time, remove the film, cut into rectangles and divide into two triangles or small rectangular sandwiches.

How to make tea sandwiches

How to make tea sandwiches

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