London's Viral Maritozzi Cream Buns Have A Roman History

As far as Italian pastries go, you probably have heard of cannolis, panetonne, and even sfogliatelle, but what about maritozzi? Chances are, those who enjoy TikTok food videos or those who live in London have recently encountered this delightful Italian pastry. An Italian pastry shop in London called Dolce VyTA — an extension of Italian restaurant VyTA Covent Garden — has gone viral on TikTok for its maritozzi, a cream-filled bun from Rome.

Maritozzi is a no-frills pastry and one that fans of simple sweets would appreciate. During the preparation process, brioche buns get split down the middle and stuffed with lightly sweetened whipped cream. It's the kind of food that reminds us how it's the simple things in life that are worth getting out of bed for. Indeed, maritozzi is eaten for breakfast in Italy, falling in line perfectly with a typical pastry and espresso pairing.

It is said that in the Middle Ages, the earliest forms of maritozzi were honey and olive oil buns with pine nuts and dried fruits. They were eaten during Lent, because they had no animal fat. Fast forward to the 18th century, the modern version of maritozzi became a common part of marriage proposals ("marito" means "husband" in Italian). The ring would be baked inside of the buns in an act of love, although it's unclear whether the name came from the association with marriage proposals or the pastries' name inspired the practice.

Maritozzi are celebrated in Rome

Rome celebrates maritozzi and the history that comes with it in many ways. Bakeries in the city celebrate Maritozzo Day on the first Saturday of December. On this day, bakeries will offer maritozzi for free or at discounted prices. Maritozzi festivals have been known to happen, too. During these events, maritozzi offerings expand well beyond just whipped cream, allowing local bakers to express their culinary creativity. Atypical maritozzi flavors could include fruits, nuts, and chocolate, while savory versions can be filled with cheeses, veggies, or meatballs. It's no wonder these versatile treats have gone viral!

UNREAL! Straight from Rome to London, you have got to give them a try! ⁠ 📍Dolce VyTA by Matteo Manzotti, Covent Garden #viralfoodslondon #bakeryinlondon #london #foodiesoflondon #wheretoeatinlondon #Later

♬ Worth It. – RAYE


The pastry shop in London, Dolce VyTA, is doing something similar with its various flavors. Although its set menu has only a classic maritozzo, pistachio maritozzo, and a chocolate maritizzo, it has limited-edition flavors that come and go, like a raspberry maritozzi it offered for Valentine's Day. Other Londoners have put their English spin on it by using Chantilly cream, which is essentially just whipped cream with more sugar and vanilla. While Londoners have displayed some affinity for these pastries, they were not the first and they will probably not be the last to do so, either.