March Favorites: Italy edition

March 11th, 2013 · Tags: Favorites · Italy

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Here’s some of the favorites I’ve seen lately in Italy.

Favorite work-turned-reward in Italy: Not only was cutting my own chocolate so cool, the cremino from Domori was so delicious and my favorite thing from an evening out. They could tell I liked it – they gave me one just for me! I broke it open on a trip down south, and it was gone in 24 hours. 500g of chocolate, gone like that. Boom! A cremino is three layers of chocolate, the two outer being gianduja (hazelnut + chocolate) and the inner layer is often hazelnut or coffee.

Favorite swag in Italy: My macellaio, butcher – who is one of my favorite people now and we often trade iPhone photos of good eats – slipped me this lovely De Cecco pasta grocery bag. I love the blue (yes, my nails matched – that wasn’t planned) and he’s promised to give me a few more to share :)

Favorite accompaniment to my espresso: A little pastry goes a long way – I love it when bars give you free pastries with coffee. Who can resist? This one is one of my favorites – a sospiro, a sponge cake with custard cream in between the layers, and then covered in a sugar glaze. Yum.

Espresso with a sospiro pastry, Italy.

Favorite special delivery in Italy: More snacks from Venchi came in the mail! The ones are the left are the Caffe’ Snacks I mentioned in my January favorites post, and the ones on the right are white chocolate with salted nuts – hazelnuts, almonds, and pistachios! I’m not a huge white chocolate fan, but I thought the combination was interesting (and they’re bite-sized). Stuck between dark and white – what kind of a chocolate fan are you?

Favorite continuing education experience in Italy: Olive oil tasting. A few years ago I was obsessed with doing a course in olive oil tasting. At the time, I just couldn’t make it work with my work schedule, but it’s still in the back of my mind. Maybe someday.

Olive oil tasting, Italy

Favorite holiday color palette in Italy: Easter. While I love the lights at Christmastime in Italy, I love the array of colors that comes into play in Italy around Easter time, especially with chocolate Easter eggs. Below, some chocolates wrapped up in colorful paper.

Colorful Easter egg packaging, Italy

Favorite reason to be a snob in Italy: I love confetti, the sugar-coated almonds Italians give out as favors at many celebrations like weddings and graduations. These “Snob” confetti were pretty delicious – almonds covered in both white and dark chocolate, then in a sugar coating. Yum. Red is the traditional color for confetti used for graduates.

Snob confetti for graduates, Italy

Favorite appreciation for hair in Italy: I love eating mussels, and making pepata di cozze, but these cozze pelose, hairy mussels, are worth looking out for.

Hairy mussels, Italy

Favorite sugar packets in Italy: I love Italian coffee, and I drink espresso every day. I love the variation in espresso cups as well as sugar packets. Sometimes they’re just with the name of the bar or blend of coffee, and sometimes they’re fun, colorful, or graphic. These packets from Illy were a fun surprise (pictured with a caffe’ d’orzo, barley coffee, I like to drink in the afternoons).

Feel. Love. Love these sugar packets from Illy. Italy.

Favorite replacement for birdwatching in Italy: Watching old men and the sea.

Old men and the sea. Puglia, Italy.

Disclosure: I received a few of these products for free, but I didn’t promise them any website exposure in exchange (nor anything else); I just like them and wanted to share them with you!

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9 responses so far ↓

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  • 1
    Arianna // Mar 11, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Buoni! Cremino I love it… always saw it the FIAT one, never this big.
    Pasta de Checco, the best. Espresso a must and “cozze” al guazzetto gnam!

    Thank You for making my mouth water!

  • 2
    Simone // Mar 11, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    That “Sospiro” reminded me of another traditional little sweet from my region called “Capezzoli di Venere”. The shape is almost identical, but the ingradients are completely different:

    And the both look yummy. I miss that!!

  • 3
    Ms. Adventures in Italy // Mar 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    @Simone – What a spicy name :) I’m not a big white chocolate fan, so I definitely prefer the sospiro, but I feel like this shape shows up in a lot of different variations.

  • 4
    jkiel // Mar 11, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    that shopping bag is favoloso! Enjoy it, while the rest of us are jealous!

  • 5
    Gil // Mar 12, 2013 at 2:41 am

    What a great post! I love reading about food, even food that is hard to find in the USA. The chocolate sounds heavenly…..

  • 6
    Catherine McNamara // Mar 12, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Loving that de Cecco bag. Your butcher has a soft spot for you! And anything to do with Illy is always the coolest. Ciao from Veneto, cat

  • 7
    Sasha Lane // Mar 22, 2013 at 8:16 am

    I want everything in Italy RIGHT. NOW. This all looks amazing.

    Random but I like to cook a nice pasta while listening to Biagio Antonacci. He has a new album out, “Sapessi Dire No”…take a listen and try and tell me it isnt great!

  • 8
    LisaF // Mar 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    The cremino looks so good! I would have eaten it all, too.

  • 9
    fabrizio // May 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    stupendo. domori è l’eccellenza. x quanto riguarda la nutella, mi spiace. la ditta à commesso un grave errore di valutazione. ti suggerisco di passare tutta l’attenzione alla crema speculoos belga che in italia purtroppo non si trova, ma servirebbe a controbattere questa leggerezza di marketing fi un’altra eccellenza italiana

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