The Egg-flip

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Its history ... and recipe

... History

The old specialities of Piedmontese cuisine, that has nothing to envy nor to fear from its sisters of other Italian regions include the egg-flip ('L Sanbajon in dialect). Brother Pasquale de Baylon (1540-1592) of the Third Franciscan Order who had reached Turin for his apostolate at the Parish of Saint Thomas, advised his repentants (especially those who complained of the scant sprightliness of their spouses) to partake of a recipe of his, which, summarised as 1+2+2+1 would restore the recalcitrant subject's vigour and strength !

Sanctified in 1680 by Pope Alexander VIII, he rapidly became legendary and the Turin women exchanged and advised resort to his recipe to benefit from Saint Pasquale de Baylon's miracle and his name was immediately abbreviated into the Turin dialect as San Bajon (o = u).

So 'L Sanbajon was born at Turin and was later Italicised into Zabaione or Zabaglione. The recipe soon left the boundaries of the State of Savoy and became well known world-wide as time went by.

'L Sanbajon is mentioned in Cavalier Vittorio Felice di Sant'Albino's Piedmontese-Italian Dictionary published at Turin by Unione Tipografico-Editrice in 1859 and had already been presented in the edition of the Cuoco Piedmontese printed at Turin in 1766, a great best-seller of those times.

Ever since 1722 Saint Pasquale de Baylon is the Saint Protector of all World Cooks, celebrated on May 17 and venerated at Turin at the church of Saint Thomas in Via Pietro Micca.

A portrait of his hangs in the choir of the Church of the Monte dei Capuccini at Turin.

... The recipe ...


1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons of sugar and beat till the yolk nearly becomes white


2 complete eggshells of Marsala (not the egg variety)

1 eggshell of water


on the stove with low heat (or bain-marie) continuing to stir with a spoon till it boils


from the stove and continue stirring


This cream is also the content of some types of Bignole (a pride of Turin's pastry art).