Rainbow cookies, also known as Venetian cookies or Neapolitan cookies, are sweet treats made of three layers of colorful sponge cake, filled with jam and covered with dark chocolate.
These biscuits are dedicated to Italy. In fact, the colors of the sponge cake (green, white, and red) recall the flag of the country.
Contrary to what you may think, rainbow cookies do not exist in Italy. They are a typical American product and you wouldn’t find them in Italy. You’ll not find rainbow cookies in bakeries or in supermarkets.
Why are these cookies dedicated to Italy? Do Italians eat something similar to rainbow cookies? In this article, we try to answer all these questions. Keep on reading!
Do Italians have rainbow cookies?
No, we don’t. In Italy, you can find different types of cookies and sweets, but rainbow cookies don’t exist here. Furthermore, traditional Italian desserts do not contain food coloring, so this kind of biscuits wouldn’t meet the tastes of many people.
If you are spending your holidays in Italy and you are craving sweets similar to rainbow cookies, don’t worry! You certainly have several options to consider:
- chocolate log;
- diplomatic cake (puff pastry or sponge cake layers filled with custard cream and whipped cream);
- Neapolitan cookies with sour cherries;
- Sandwich cookies stuffed with chocolate or jam.
Italian pastries are famous all over the world. Light and foamy creams, fluffy cakes, crumbly biscuits, and various fillings… Don’t be shy and enter an Italian pastry shop! There you can find so many sweets, pies, and desserts that you won’t be nostalgic for rainbow cookies!
Do Italians eat rainbow cookies at Christmas?
No, they don’t. Pandoro and panettone are the typical sweets that Italians eat during the Christmas holiday. Pandoro is a leavened cake prepared with butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla flavoring and it is served sprinkled with powdered sugar or accompanied by a mascarpone cream.
Panettone is another typical Christmas food in Italy, a leavened cake with raisins and candied fruit inside. At Christmas, it’s not common for Italian people to eat biscuits as a dessert, and usually, in addition to pandoro and panettone, at the end of the meal, they eat dates and dried fruits.
In some regions, such as Tuscany, it is traditional to eat cantucci with vin santo at Christmas.
Are Venetian cookies really Italian?
No, they are not. These cookies are born in the early 1900s in the United States to pay homage to the Italian communities in the US. This is why they are called “Venetian cookies” or “Neapolitan cookies”, they are named after two famous Italian cities, Venice and Naples.
Rainbow cookies are very tasty cookies and they are also beautiful to look at, because of their colorful sponge cake layers and crunchy chocolate coating. Although they are dedicated to Italy, Italians do not know them because they are not sold in Italy.
If you are in Italy on vacation, don’t waste time looking for rainbow cookies in a pastry shop or in a supermarket, because you will not find them. Instead, try some local sweet treats: we are sure that they won’t make you regret rainbow cookies!
How are rainbow cookies made?
Rainbow cookies are a much more particular sweet than the classic biscuits that Italians usually eat for breakfast. Everyone refers to them as cookies, but they are more similar to a layer cake cut into small squares.
They are made of three layers of almond sponge cake, red, white, and green to recall the Italian flag. Between them, there is jam (usually raspberries or apricots jam), while on the surface they are covered with crunchy dark chocolate.