A Neapolitan treat
Rum Babàs are a Neapolitan icon and staple of the traditional cuisine of the Campania region in the south of Italy. Their true origin has to be found abroad though, actually in Poland. baba it’s the diminutive of the name babkais “old woman” or “grandmother” in most Slavic languages. The cake was then brought to the Lorraine region in France, by the king of Poland Stanislao Leszcynsky who was exiled there. Apparently, it was the king’s idea to soak the Gugelhupf, a dried cake roughly similar to the baba and common in Alsace-Lorraine with an alcoholic spirit. Only later, around 1835, the baba started to be soaked in rum and became really popular in Paris and thanks to French chefs it reached Naples where it is just as much of a Neapolitan icon as the city’s pizza. Today you can find different versions with a rum-spiked citrus syrup or filled with cream or Limoncello for a explosion of flavor with every bite.Its rich and full-bodied flavor is a miracle of harmony between contrasting influences — to the point of entering the Neapolitan jargon with that expression “si nu’ babbà” which means, in fact, “you are a treasure”.
Now is the time to eat one!