Italy and Chocolate: An Iconic Sweet Love Affair
Move over, Switzerland! When it comes to chocolate, Italy knows how to seduce our taste buds with its exquisite creations. Did you know that Italy has its very own chocolate university, the "Università del Cioccolato," where chocolate enthusiasts can learn the art of chocolate-making from master chocolatiers? While Turin, a quaint town in the north of Italy, takes the chocolate crown with its renowned chocolatiers and festivals in all glory, there are various other Italian cities where chocolate really does hold a special place. From Florence to Modica, these cities offer their unique chocolatey experiences, while festivals dedicated to this cocoa delight fill the air with more sweetness. So, grab a cup of hot cocoa and join us as we delve into the irresistible allure of Italian chocolate.
1. Turin: A Chocoholic's Dream Destination
Turin, often referred to as the chocolate capital of Italy, is home to iconic chocolatiers who have been crafting delectable treats for generations. The famous Gianduja, a smooth blend of chocolate and hazelnuts invented during Napoleon's regency hails from this chocolate town. Turin also offers chocolate tours like 2-hour tasting walks, during which you can witness the magic behind its chocolate-making and immerse yourself in the tantalising aroma of cocoa. Turin also has a chocolate museum called "Museo del Cioccolato," where you can explore the history and culture of chocolate through interactive exhibits and tastings.
MUST TRY: When in Turin, be sure to try Lavazza coffee, Barolo wines, slow cooked food, and the amargo (bitter) or semi amargo (bittersweet) Turin Chocolate.
2. Florence: Where Art Meets Chocolate
Florence, the epitome of art and culture, adds its own artistic touch to the world of chocolate. Artisan chocolatiers in Florence are true maestros, transforming chocolate into edible masterpieces. Prepare to be amazed by intricately designed chocolate sculptures and exquisitely crafted pralines that showcase Florence's creative spirit. Indulge in these edible works of art while taking in the city's iconic sights and immersing yourself in its vibrant atmosphere.
MUST TRY: When in Florence, be sure to try out their unique takes on crostini and gelato.
3. Modica: A Taste of Ancient Chocolate Traditions
In the picturesque town of Modica, located in Sicily, you'll discover a chocolate tradition deeply rooted in history. Modica chocolate is made using a unique ancient Aztec technique known as "cold processing”. When the Aztecs were making chocolate, they weren’t making chocolate bars, they were making beverages. They were coarsely stone grinding the cocoa without sugar because it was being used for drinks, and it didn’t need to be smooth. They merely used cocoa beans and added spices instead of sweetner to give it a better taste. The result? A chocolate with a distinctive grainy texture and intense flavours. Explore Modica's charming streets, visit traditional chocolate workshops, and savour the rich and authentic taste of this ancient Sicilian chocolate.
MUST TRY: The wine in this region along with the dark chocolate of this region which is called Cioccolato di Modica are products you shouldn’t miss out on.
4. Perugia Eurochocolate Festival
Perugia, the capital of the Umbria region, proudly hosts Eurochocolate, one of the largest chocolate festivals in Italy. This annual celebration attracts chocoholics from all corners of the globe. Picture yourself strolling through Perugia's picturesque streets, surrounded by vendors offering a vast array of chocolate delights. From chocolate sculptures to themed exhibits and workshops, Eurochocolate promises an unforgettable chocolate extravaganza for every chocolate lover.
MUST TRY: When in Perugia, check out the Baci Perugina, the famous Italian chocolate kisses that were created in Perugia in 1922. Each kiss contains a sweet love note tucked inside its wrapper.
5. Naples: Decadence in Chocolate
Naples, the birthplace of pizza, also holds another culinary secret: its indulgent chocolate creations. Neapolitan chocolate is characterised by its velvety smoothness and rich flavours. Don't miss the opportunity to try the famous "tartufo di Pizzo," a chocolate truffle filled with luscious cream. Naples entices you with its irresistible chocolatey treats, blending local traditions with a touch of sweet temptation.
MUST TRY: The Neapolitan Pizza and the Pasta Alla Genovese along with a side of chocolate truffles. Food heaven personified! If you want to make Neapolitan Pizza at home check our homemade Neapolitan Pizza recipe.
Italy's love affair with chocolate is a delightful secret that beckons chocolate enthusiasts from around the world. From Turin's iconic Gianduja to Florence's artistic chocolate creations, Modica's ancient traditions, and the grandeur of the Eurochocolate festival in Perugia, there's something for every chocolate lover in Italy.
If you’re craving for something chocolatey from Italy, we have a selection that is sure to satisfy you. From Chocolate Babka, to our Chocolate Budino, Tiramisu, and Biscottis, we use chocolate that is honestly Italian and will leave you craving for more.
So, indulge your senses, explore the diverse chocolate cultures across Italian cities, and let the magic of Italian chocolates sweeten your life.
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Also read- 3 Most Loved Italian Desserts