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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Piazza Filled With Chocolate


Question: On a chilly, dark, Friday evening in November, not tourist season, what can one do to fill Piazza Cadorna with people? 

Answer: Chocolate! 

If there's anything worth devoting an entire weekend to, it's chocolate. And that is exactly what happened in Stresa last weekend, in the season's first event of the "Stresa nel gusto" program. Beginning with this evening that I photographed, chocolate festivities continued on Saturday with a slicing of the giant chocolate salami made by the students of Stresa's hotel management school, Maggia. And on Sunday, there was a reading by the author Rossana Girotto of excerpts of her book, "Ofelia sapeva nuotare," along with servings of hot chocolate and musical accompaniment by flutist Emiliana Parenzi Colombo. And always, the booths selling and demonstrating chocolate.

Here are a few photos that I took on Friday evening; just really a tip of the chocolate iceberg:

This producer, from Lecco, had an incredibly realistic display of chocolates shaped like metal tools -- gears, wrenches, pliers, etc. The perfect gift for the men, no? I especially liked the collection of nuts, bolts, and screws. All these are coated in a dusting of cocoa  powder that recreates rust almost too well.



(   Continued   ...   )


Further along in the same display there were chocolate cell phones, toothbrushes, skulls, and a variety of other not-usually-seen-in-chocolate-items. Then, cookies, in various flavors and with different drops inside and on top.


And yes! This below is still the same producer. At the other end of his display, continuing past the cookies, were bins of truffles in at least twenty different flavors.


It was nice to see the piazza so lit up and so active on an autumn evening. All four sides and the center were filled with vendors. Among my other favorite finds were chocolate shoes. chocolate characters, Disney and otherwise, chocolate-covered fruit sticks, chocolate tiles, and large sheets of chocolate 'bark'.








But if I had to choose only one, would you believe it wouldn't even be difficult for me. My favorite, was, is, and most likely always will be, chocolates filled with raspberry. How about you?




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