Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Frutelle, Croissants, and Gelato Oh my!

So here's the thing about Italy, it has the most wonderful sweets you can imagine. I have mentioned the miraculous mini-doughnut-holes filled with custard and nutella and just recently discovered that they are called "frutelle" and have a bit of history behind them. They are seasonal during this time of the year here because this is the time of the year in Italy where Italians eat up before they fast everything away later. In Paderno the frutelle are about half the size of Venice's fruitella. Also in Venice they roll them in sugar on the outside. Croissants are the other pastry that I have always had an affinity for, but here in Italy they take them to another level. They are served fresh, hot, and perfectly flakey. In my limited experience all of them are filled with something. My friend Sarah tried a cocoa one that was filled with nutella and drizzled with powdered sugar. I went the 'crema' route which to my taste buds was custard and also dusted with powdered sugar. Before I came to Italy you could say I was somewhat of a gelato pessimist. I thought it was more of a trendy food you could only find at one place in downtown Portland. Oh how wrong I was. Gelato is absolutely delicious. It is the brain-child of ice cream and frozen yogurt, combining the best of each. My favorite flavors are along the lines of hazelnut, coffee, tiramisu, and white chocolate. There are so many great and different pastries here. I am excited to try a new one at each new opportunity I get.

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