Valentine ode: Candy Heart Art by Moira Hahn
Dangerous comedian: Italy minister wants to distribute Muhammed cartoon T-shirts
I was first introduced to them via Sante, who is a strict chocoholic. He was a goner when I gave him his first Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Speaking of, while going to get the link to their site, I notice they are advertising new Peanut Butter Caramel cups…send me some!
Back to Caffarel. I didn’t grow up with Nutella, and while studying abroad in Italy, I managed to stay pretty immune to the hazelnut-chocolate lure many of my fellow inmates succumbed to (though I had found other vices). I particularly remember a few of them foregoing utensils and going straight in with their fingers when times were rough.
So when I was first presented with this tiny, gold-foil-wrapped trapezoid, I thought, nice packaging. I wasn’t a big fan of Perugina Baci so I was afraid it would be another chocolate-hazelnut dud. By the way, Nestle now owns Perugina, just like Hershey’s owns Sharffenberger. Boo-hoo, sniff.
So, the Caffarel gianduiotto (jahn-doo-YOE-toe) (also spelled giandujotto) was amazing. It starts subtle but as the heat of your mouth starts to break it down, you discover another layer of flavor and texture. It’s a bit stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth but I like that (peanut-butter bred, folks) and I’m hooked!
Gianduia is everywhere in Italy, and as any of those links above will tell you, it’s a mix of chocolate and hazelnut. It is not a brand name, it’s like milk chocolate, dark chocolate, gianduia. It’s a base. I recently discovered gianduiotti fondente, or dark chocolate gianduia. I bought some last night for Valentine’s day (rewarding the both of us) but unfortunately, they had started to bloom. I know it’s not supposed to affect the taste but it had a psychological effect and I didn’t enjoy it as much.
Guess that means I’ll have to head to Torino to get some fresher ones!
Last time we went to Torino, we had the best gianduia ice cream near a main square. As usual, I kept my eye out for a long line of people and non-tourists. We’ll probably be heading back there this weekend to take part in the excitement, and I’ll be picking up some other chocolate if I can. By the way, the best gianduiotti I’ve ever eaten are from Spes in Torino, and they were brought to me by a lovely student in Rome. They were so fresh I thought they were still setting up. Those of you going to Torino, I hope you check it out.
So, support the Olympics. Eat chocolate. I’ll be doing my part.