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Posts Tagged ‘Crema Novi’

I’m a little bit loving the fact that I’ve been back in Australia for over two months, yet am still eking out travel posts. Let’s hear it for digital cameras and their capacity to take endless amounts of photos! (Even if said photos are making my computer teeter on the edge of collapse. I really should do something about that.) Anyhoo, today’s photos follow on from these glimpses of Florence. Enjoy!

Fresco of The Last Judgement, painted on the underside of the dome of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.

I took this looking up from inside the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, where I attended a Sunday Mass and had no idea what was going on. Unlike the masses I attended in Bruges and Paris, this one had no pretty music or gorgeous singing to break up the sermon. However, most everyone was carrying plants, which was interesting for about two minutes.

It would have been interesting for longer than two minutes had the plant-carrying been part of a quaint Italian tradition whereby blessing flora leads to pesto alla genovese that tastes like angels singing… But no. It was just Palm Sunday. (I snuck out during Communion.)

Palazzo Vecchio - Florence's Town Hall.

Palazzo Vecchio, the Town Hall of Florence.

The Palazzo Vecchio was Ronaldo’s favourite historical building in Florence, whereas I think the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is more striking. And that, my friends, is why I didn’t end up accepting his offer to take me to dinner. Yep. Architecture is a deal-breaker for me. Yep. (Apparently.)

Crema Novi and Italian chocolate spreads

Nom nom nom. So you know what to look for.

Told you the Italians like their chocolate hazelnut spreads. This photo doesn’t even show a speckle of the range available. Oh, and the Crema Novi in the photo, which I showed you an interior-photo of in the previous glimpses of Florence post? To help you understand its fancypants deliciousness, it’s made of 45% hazelnuts whrereas Nutella incorporates a puny 13% hazelnuts. (The top three ingredients of Crema Novi are hazelnuts, sugar, and cocoa powder. Nutella’s top three are sugar, vegetable oils, and hazelnuts.) A pox on Nutella’s globalised market share.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu...

…also known as “Wedgie Cake”. (Yes, I’m 23 years old. Why do you ask?) (Ooh, that’s me in the reflection! Hello me.)

Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, Battistero di San Giovanni.

A panel of Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise at the Battistero di San Giovanni.

The bronze panels currently adorning the Battistero di San Giovanni are not, in fact, the original Gates of Paradise, but replicas. When I discovered this I duly paid my entry fee to the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, where the originals are kept, only to find that all but one panels had been whisked away to Restoration Land. Sigh.

Cannabic chocolate

Why does this photo make me sad? See below.

Can you believe I didn’t buy this cannabis chocolate? What a failure on my behalf. I guess I thought my previous dalliance with hemp chocolate was delinquent enough.

I’ve never even eaten special brownies.

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Pear and Pistachio Gelato, Carabe

Dear Pistachio Gelato, I miss you.

Sometimes it feels wrong to be posting about Florence without simultaneously talking about gelato. Gelato was an integral part of my Italian experience, as most days involved  frozen delightfulness in one form or another.  My plan for the future is to remember posts such as this one recounting gelato highlights whenever I find myself journeying back to Florence and its sentient statues. If you also do this, then none of us will ever forget that Florence can, for all its varied cultural and historical hotspots and adventures, be evoked simply by the sensation of sweetness melting on the lips.

I feel better about posting ice-cream-less glimpses of Italy now, because I know that you’re all imagining liquorice gelato and meringue semifreddo at this precise moment. Right? Right?

View from Giotto's Campanile, Florence

Once upon a time, I climbed to the top of Giotto’s Campanile, the tower adjacent to the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Wikipedia says there are 414 steps involved in such a feat, but I’m certain there were 782 steps. It just. kept. going.

In addition, the staircase was not only unending (hyperbole alert) but incredibly narrow, which meant that there was much pressing close to strangers in the manner of Sardines (the children’s game*, not the omega-3-rich fish).

View of Florence

Once atop the Campanile, there was a lot of Florence to look at. These are the types of photos that are usually interesting only to the person who took them, aren’t they? I do apologise. But you see, there really were a lot of stairs, so I had to take enough photos to justify the entry price and my new-found calves of steel.

Pig in guillotine, Florence

Oh no! Wilbur! Where’s the eight-legged friend who’ll save your bacon?! (Actually, perhaps the part of Charlotte’s Web most appropriate for a gelato-fuelled Florence trip is Templeton’s fairground song: “The faaaaair is a veeeeritable smorgasboard, orgasbord, orgasbord, aaaaafter the crowds have ceased... Melon rinds and bits of hot dogs, cookie crumbs and rotten cotton candy, melted ice cream, mustard drippings, mouldy goodies everywhere...” Except without the mould.

Riso Torty Limone

Rice *and* rice? Oh Florence, do stop! You’re spoiling me so. (I was almost going to proclaim these vegan, but alas! They contain eggs. Definitely dairy-free and gluten-free, though.)

There is something a bit odd about walking down a street and suddenly passing an entirely empty (read: unstaffed as well as un-customered) restaurant with nothing to spruik it except a huge slab of fresh meat on a wooden crate.

Crema Novi

But there is something utterly irresistible about an open jar of Crema Novi, the chocolate hazelnut spread that is to Nutella what sun-ripened cherry tomatoes fresh off the bush are to mealy supermarket tomatoes fresh out of cold storage. I wish this grew on trees.

* Dear me, I haven’t thought about that game in years and years. Super fun times indeed. For those of you who don’t know it, Sardines is a reverse hide-and-seek. One person is “it” and has to hide while everyone else looks for him/her. As people find the hiding person, they have to cram into the hiding space too, until it becomes pretty darn obvious where the hiding space is**.

** I don’t think this game would work very well in my new Tiny Unit Of Smurf Kitchen. Someone would hide in the shower, then someone would hide in my wardrobe, and then we’d be out of options.

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