“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Sweets of Italy, Part Uno

I ate a lot of sweets when I was in Italy this past summer. I mean a lot. I had to have nutella and gelato every day. I had sweets at breakfast, in the afternoon and of course, after dinner while strolling around Rome or Ischia. I got so used to having nutella everyday, that when I got back to America and it wasn’t everywhere you looked, I went through nutella withdrawal. It was pretty intense. Anyway……I thought it would be fun to list a lot of the delicious treats I ate while in Italy. And don’t worry; I’ll be salivating right along with you.

The nutella donut- Yes, you read that right. Nutella. Donut. A beautiful light yeast donut, stuffed and I mean STUFFED with creamy nutella. Sometimes I would eat the outside of the donut first just to save the nutella for last, other times I would take a bite and get a little of each.

The yeast bun with chocolate chips- Okay, not quite sure how to describe this. Almost every morning in Ischia my mother and I went to a place called Roxy Bar. They had some baked goods, gelato, coffee and drinks. One morning we get this delightful yeast breakfast bun, shaped like a cinnamon bun that was made with chocolate chips. It wasn’t sweet, the chocolate was the only sweet thing about it. It was kind of like a twisted bread roll with chocolate. Eaten with a cappuccino was a lovely mix.

Cornetto with nutella and cream- So in Italy, they call them cornettos, not croissants.  They are very similar, but the French version of the croissant tends to be crispy and contains a lot of butter, whereas an Italian cornetto is usually softer. A lot of the time for breakfast my mother and I would get one filled with nutella and one filled with Crema Gillia (custard) and share them both. Delizioso.   

Gelato- I don’t even know where to begin with the gelato. I had so many different flavors, it’s not even funny. The flavors I like are usually nutty or chocolaty. I had Stracciatella (kind of like chocolate chip, except the chocolate is not really in chip form, but in fine bits throughout the gelato. It gets this way by drizzling a thin stream of melted chocolate during the final stages of churning, which hardens on contact and gets broken up as it churns.) I had baci (chocolate and hazelnut), bianco hazelnut (white chocolate and hazelnut. Pistachio. Coconut. Nocciola (hazelnut.) Noce (walnut.) Caramel. White chocolate. Cookie gelato. And my personal favorite, nero fondente. This was without a doubt, the richest, darkest, creamiest, most intense chocolate gelato (or ice cream) I have ever had in my life. It was literally black. Best. Gelato. Ever.  
Do you have a favorite sweet memory of Italy? If so, please comment and let me know!!