Cocoa in Italy
Cocoa in Italy

Flavors of Italy

All About Chocolate > Cocoa in Italy - from Casanova to chocolate with hazelnuts

Cocoa arrived in the transalpine region in 1606 with Antonio Carletti, having crossed the European interior from the port of Amsterdam. That same year the first cioccolatieri devoted to the art of chocolate making also made their appearance. Casanova made early use of this restorative product to allow him to maintain the rate of his seductions.

A new kind of chocolate was introduced in Turin in 1852, made with milk, sugar, cocoa and hazelnuts from Piedmont. This refined mixture shaped like a little boat - gianduiotto - was launched in 1865 at the Turin carnival by Peyrano, a master chocolatier who wanted to invent a sweet to accompany coffee. It received an enthusiastic welcome, and a previously unknown honour was accorded the new product when it was given the name of the Turin masker Gianduia. At the marriage of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco, gianduia was served as the wedding candy.

Italian chocolates offer a whole range of flavours but, aside from gianduia, one of the undisputed favourites is Cremini, a four-layer chocolate: two pale layers of cocoa, almonds and hazelnuts, and two dark layers to which cocoa liquor has been added.

In Italy, coffee and chocolate are today still partners in a long marriage. Chocolate can also be found in gelati (ice creams), with pears, even with game, and it sometimes finds its way into dessert ravioli.

There has also existed for a long time a creamy, smooth spreading chocolate that can be put onto bread, amaretti, panettone or cookies.

Search within the site
Advanced search >
Register free to receive our official newsletter
Sign up
Subscribe to our free RSS feeds:
Get the daily and monthly recipe posts automatically added to your newsreader.
Sign up