They look like a vintage gift, but it's the perfect idea when you're a guest (according to etiquette). But do not buy a gift box and serve them respecting a little 'bon ton – and the right pairing.
"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what happens to you," said Forrest Gump. And even if it is not for this reason that chocolates are the perfect gift, you can not agree with him. They are always a surprise, especially when choosing artisan products, typically regional and with a little story to tell.
Why give chocolate
When you are guests at dinner or you are invited to a friend's house, etiquette advises against bringing flowers: Donna Letizia in her famous "Knowing how to live" is categorical about it. Cut flowers need to be put in pots immediately, and this involves a bit of sudden work for the landlord – exactly when he had other things to do. Better to give chocolates: do not interfere in the menu, if you decide to open them the same evening, and otherwise they are not perishable and you can eat calmly.
Unless it is Christmas, chocolate can not be packaged, so just the original packaging, to which you can simply add a nice bow, or you can transfer the chocolates in a loose box to keep. And the boxes of chocolates? Those cardboard, large with preformed golden plastic make a lot of volume, but are not very useful and end up immediately in the basket: to bring the chocolates to the table and offer them to the guests in fact you use small bowls and backs, never that type of packaging. To choose them, rather than focusing on a confusing assortment of commercial products, it is much better to choose only one specialty: less is more.
The cremini 4 layers
The cremini are an all-Italian tradition, even better than Turin, and are those chocolates in layers, in which two layers of chocolate gianduia contain a filling hazelnut or almond: they are delicious and pleasing to adults and children. They were invented at the end of the nineteenth century and have become a classic, but the most famous of all, the cremino FIAT, has a funny and unique story. The FIAT cremino was invented in 1911, when FIAT launched a new model of car, the Type 4, and to do so it called for a competition among the best chocolatiers in Italy to create a commemorative chocolatier. He won by beating the competition not a Turin, but the historic and oldest Italian chocolate company, the Majani of Bologna. His cremino had not only three layers, but 4, like Type 4, of hazelnut paste and almond paste. The Tipo 4 came out of production in 1918, but the Cremino FIAT is still today, after more than a century, one of the Italian cult chocolates.
The traditional kisses of Piedmont
Cherasco, in the Piedmont province of Cuneo, is famous for snails, and for chocolate, or rather for a special chocolate that has also become a Traditional Agri-Foodstuff recognized by the Ministry. A land of hazelnuts and a long-standing chocolate-making tradition, the Kiss of Cherasco it was founded in 1881 at the Barbero bakery, which still preserves its original recipe, which then spread throughout the country and in many patisseries. The Baci di Cherasco are not beautiful, they have an irregular shape, but they blend two delights together: dark chocolate with 65% of cocoa mass and IGP Tonda Gentile hazelnuts from Piedmont, toasted according to an ancient recipe and coarsely crushed. They are ugly, but very good.
The boer prize
They seem synonymous, but the difference between chocolates and pralines is substantial. The chocolates are made with only one type of chocolate while the pralines, from the French praline, have a chocolate shell that contains a creamy filling, a liqueur, dried or candied fruit. The Boers are a classic praline. Forget for a moment, however, the industrial products and imagine the Boer Awarded also with the Golden Tablet at the Milan Salon Du Chocolat 2018: a first quality dark chocolate shell that hides a whole cherry with "drunken" hazel for several months in the grappa of Dolcetto d'Ovada and subsequently covered with cane sugar and chocolate. Here they are the Boeri di Bodrato, produced according to the ancient recipe in Novi Ligure, the Italian capital of chocolate.
The vintage combination
The chocolate is served as a sweet accompaniment to a coffee, to a black tea, and is the perfect pairing for a liqueur or a distillate. Perfect with an aged rum, a peaty whiskey, chocolate lends itself to dust off some liquoridicole – which are returning in fashion – like Amaretto, Cocoa Liqueur, Myrtle. Or a classic, a glass of Barolo Chinato.
For chocolate lovers, from Eataly you can find hundreds of craft products. Chocolates, pralines, tablets and many spreads (without palm oil) and really luxurious: cocoa and hazelnut, gianduia, only dark chocolate or sun hazelnuts from Piedmont.
In February and March, while waiting for Easter, all the Eataly d'Italia will be told about the wonders of chocolate, discovering the characteristics and all the secrets of cocoa.
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