Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In Search of Something…Dolce...

Le Castagnole
Every now and then it happens…not often, but every now and then. Festa della Donna and Carnevale sharing the same day. And seeing that I had the day off, I decided to celebrate in my own sweet way. In search of something…dolce. Something particular that I would find during this time of year in my Campania region. I stopped by Nautilus, a bar/ pastry shop, and restaurant located in Varcaturo (Na) for a chat with owner Francesco D’Alena who shared with me some of Campania’s sugary specialties.

Le Chiacchiere…you can’t have Carnevale without this airy dessert made with flour, butter, yeast and eggs. Baked or fried, then topped with powdered sugar. Behind the counter, next to jars of sanguinaccio, a chocolate dipping sauce, they lay. If I desired, I could even have it predipped in chocolate. I desired.

Le Castagnole…Here was something that would definitely work towards filling that sweet spot. Simple sugary spheres filled with a Chantilly cream. A cream that softly explodes in your mouth giving the tiniest, tiniest hint of rum.

Le Zeppole di San Giuseppe…A pastry which was offered to me in two versions; baked or baked halfway, then fried. The crème Chantilly was here again, but this time, swirling around the top of this tiny tart. Add a few cherries, and we are good to go.

Today, however, is also International Women’s Day. A day where on every street corner, one can buy a small branch of mimosa blossoms. That’s not sweet, though. So Francesco showed me his mimosa cake. A white cake covered with yellow ‘blossoms' and a fresh strawberry on top. Inside, my new best friend, crème Chantilly and a pineapple sauce.

Sticking with my sweet theme, I was curious which dessert wine could share the stage with these desserts. Campania? Francesco asked…Of course! I answered. Fiano di Avellino? Well, Privilegio 2000, from Feudi dei San Gregorio or maybe something from Terradora…Falanghina? Eleusi 1999 from Villa Matilde. Maybe I wanted to go red. Ra! from Viticoltori De Conciliis starring Barbera could be an option.

All sweet options… all Campania…and each one satisfying my search for something …dolce.

Via Ripuaria 259, Varcaturo (Na)
081 839 2006

Italian Version

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