So, we went back to the “Cioccolato! Sapori e magia del cioccolato artigianale” little festival in Pavia. It was packed!! Luckily we went yesterday so we had already sampled and chosen our purchases for today.
PS> Diabetics may want to check their blood sugar level after this post.
People were getting a little more aggressive today and we were forced into a cattle-drive circle around the displays. Sometimes the crowd was so thick, you couldn’t even see what they were displaying. I had a blue-haired woman in a blue fur jacket push me frantically toward the tasting of a chocolate hazelnut cream. I looked back at her, but her eyes were on the prize. (Senior citizens get away with a lot in this country…more about that later)
This is one of the chocolate artists – he decorated a chocolate plate (for only 80 euros, in case you’re interested) Check out the constantly flowing chocolate behind him. This made me yearn for the Food Network – I had it on constantly this summer when I was at home.
We picked up some cinnamon, peperoncino (hot pepper) and milk hot chocolate, and chocolate salami…YUM. Here’s a pic of it to the right
There were so many people, and we had already sampled a few things the day before, that we decided to leave and go to get a hot chocolate from a very popular place in Pavia, Da Cesare (on Corso Garibaldi, if you are local).
The best thing there is the Hot Chocolate with zabaglione on top, which is much better than just simple whipped cream (which you can also get there). It’s made with fresh eggs, cream, sugar, and usually a type of wine or rum. The ice cream is pretty good there, too.
As with all good places (especially in Italy), it’s quite small, and therefore has a huge line. Most people wait inside for about 20 minutes before sitting at one of their 10, 2-person tables. The line also spills outside, if it’s not too cold. We decided to get it to go at the take-out window (we only waited 10 minutes to get them) because we were too hyped-up on chocolate already. They make the zabaglione by hand, and usually run out about every 15 minutes, so there’s always a bit of a wait involved.
It’s a bit sinful. If you don’t know, hot chocolate in Italy is nothing like the watery, brown-colored substance we have in the States…it’s more like liquid pudding, and is very, very dense. It’s almost always eaten with a spoon.
The trick with this stuff is to make sure you eat the zabaglione and the hot chocolate equally, or you’ll end up with only chocolate at the end!