When we think of where the world's best and most famous Chocolatiers reside, our minds bypass Italy and head straight to Belgium and Switzerland. But Italy does make some fabulous chocolates, think - Baci Perugina, Ferrero Rochers and Caffarel. Caffarel? I hear you asking. As a certified chocaholic, I hadn't heard of them either, until my recent lunch time dash to Black Pearl Epicure for some pantry essentials. As I stood at the counter my gaze fell upon a basket of distinctive red and gold foiled cubes. They were so visually appealing so I made the impulse decision to purchase a bag. From the moment I saw these petite chocolates, I was in love. I loved how each morsel was a piece of art, lovingly wrapped to reveal a smooth velvet chocolate, accented with hazelnuts.
Chocolates from Belgium and Switzerland are so good, they probably should be illegal, but what sets Italian chocolate apart is the passion. Let us examine this statement through images ...
Apart from those aesthetically pleasing cubes, Caffarel also make a range of products. The gold foiled chocolate on the far right is the company's flagship product, the boat shaped Gianduia (pronounced john-doo-ya). Gianduia is a combination of milk chocolate and hazelnuts and to us modern folk this is a classic combination. But back in 1856, Gianduia was born of necessity. In the turbulent years that followed the Napoleonic wars, exotic chocolate was rationed, so Chocolatiers mixed chocolate with local hazelnuts to extend the precious ingredient. Thank goodness they did.
Milk chocolate hearts are one of the more simple items a Chocolatier's repertoire ... so it was a pleasant surprise to find this dainty heart had a message. Love isn't a solitary bold gesture, it is spoken in numerous ways and it is evident there is volumes of love and passion in Italian chocolate. So don't forget about Italy when you think chocolate. She is there waiting to be discovered and loved. Viva Italian Chocolate!