I have just returned from the Fiera del Cioccolato in Florence’s Piazza Santa Croce.
Do you like chocolate? Do you LOVE chocolate? Then this event and similar events that occur in different regions of Italy are the place for you.
My hands down favorite of the festival was Chic & Shock . Of everything they offered…and believe me, the selection was extensive…my favorites are pictured above. For a business that is only 16 years old…a blip on the radar in Italian terms…the quality and beauty of their artisanal chocolate is amazing. In addition to the bars of chocolate, which were phenomenal, I took home “frutto di bosco,” “cannella” “rosa” and “amarena.” The process for these little gems takes three days because different components must set before the next can be added. So, combine intense flavor with artistry that creates a miniature log of white and dark chocolate filled with berry infused fondente and topped with a little chocolate ladybug for 1€ and you can understand why I fell in love.
My second favorite was Di Maria, who unfortunately have email, but do not have a website yet. The truffles where classic example of what chocolate should be. My favorite was actually the coconut and white chocolate, which is absolutely flabbergasting to me because I always prefer dark chocolate. The milk chocolate filled with Grand Marnier was also outstanding and how they managed to create lighter chocolates that I fell in love with amazes me.
The final standout to me was Dolci Express. The quality of the chocolate was high…and I loved the heart shaped chocolate suckers. The thing that really made me fall in love was the “Chocolate Equipment.” The photo does not do the pieces justice, but these would be an ideal gift for a man’s man chocolate lover for Valentine’s Day. They have crafted all sorts of tools and objects from chocolate…little boys went crazy for these and I think grown up boys would too.
Any time you are in Italy there is likely a chocolate festival going on somewhere nearby. They are not always easy to find online…so I will be compiling a list of all that I can find…stay tuned.