Campus Life

MITaly’s dessert tour was a sweet success

The sugar rush primed MIT’s holiday spirit

The MIT community had their sweet-tooth satisfied on Monday, Dec. 4, when MITaly, the Italian Association of MIT, organized an “Italian dessert tour” in the Stratton Student Center. The association offered a myriad of pastries for the attendees in order to promote sublime Italian cuisine. The theme for the tour revolved around Christmas, as a third of the desserts seen there were what an Italian would traditionally eat during the holiday season.

More than a hundred people lined up for the event, eagerly awaiting a bite. Desserts such as pandoro, panna cotta, and panettone were just the tip of this sugar iceberg. Each attendee was able to take six desserts from an array of tables, with complimentary drinks.

Matteo Baracaia, a MITaly representative, spoke to The Tech about how they organized the event.

“We had plenty of desserts,” Baracaia began. “We had cakes, we had tiramisu, so you could either divide them between cake desserts and pie desserts. These are the two main kinds of desserts here.” He further expanded on the dessert types, saying that there are also a few with cream-fillings and some biscuits too.

MITaly has also hosted events prior to the dessert tour, as Baracaia said that they have also “participated at the pasta night at the Dante Alighieri [Society of Massachusetts],” an Italian cultural center located in Cambridge that aims to foster appreciation for Italy.

The atmosphere of the event was delightfully sweet. Many of the attendees enjoyed the event, such as Kent Qi, who wrote to The Tech that he had the “pleasure of attending the Italian dessert night.” He particularly liked the “diverse selection of Italian sweets, including classics like tiramisu and cannoli.”

Qi further added that he “was particularly intrigued by some lesser-known Italian desserts presented,” and that “[i]t was truly an amazing experience eating [his] way through the Italian dessert scene.” 

His only gripe was that there was “limited information about each dessert’s history and cultural significance.” Regardless, he commended MITaly for “introducing [him] to both familiar and lesser-known delights” and wished that there was a smaller crowd so he could inform the event organizers of his appreciation.

But the ending may not be so saccharine. Baracaia expressed concern regarding MITaly’s financial health and urged people to donate if they love Italian cuisine because they may be unable to continue doing dessert tours in subsequent years.

“I think that people who come here should donate more,” Baracaia stated. “We are in very bad need [of donations]—the MIT dessert tour is gonna disappear next year because we had so few donations.”

If the dessert tour ceased to exist, Baracaia quipped that “Italian cuisine is gonna be banished from the U.S., but you’re still gonna get Italians, so you just have the disadvantages of that.” 

Without the dessert tour, Baracaia envisioned a Boston with “just Italians, but without the cuisine.” Perhaps this should be enough of a reason to keep the dessert tour alive if you want another bite of tiramisu.