Interview to Cioccolati Italiani: the surplus is the format!

Cioccolati Italiani is the best place where you can go if you want to taste real good chocolate! There is a kind of chocolate for each of you, from icecream to bars, brioches, cakes, you just have to think about something and order it: the Heaven!

The first shop was created in Naples on December 2008 and the idea of a place where people could taste precious and unusual chocolate delights hit it big, so they dedided to expand soon in Milan on February 2009. Here customers answered successfully to the new format that was introduced, something original even in such a big city.

Speaking with Vincenzo Ferrieri (his father opened the first shop in Naples) that’s what I discovered:

– How did you develope and spread this new format?

The most difficult thing was to standardize processes in order to materialize what we had in our mind and to create a particular new format, different from the competition, where the act of eating chocolate is an involving experience. The difficulties consisted in finding the right production lines certificates, in the suppliers’ choise, in meeting exactly the unsatisfied needs of consumers… Suppliers are very jealous of their product because they want to be sure that it is used in the right way, promoting its quality and underlining the fair origin.

when we opened in Milan we didn’ t focus on advertising, we simply paid two consulting agencies and a press agency for the first year, which “made the name of Cioccolati Italiani go round”. A big opportunity was the arrangement of the collaboration with the Costa Group at the Furniture Fair.  The rsult was that we reached the breakeven point in 8 months, the average is at least one year and half. Despite the consistent initial investment it revealed a great success, considering that the shop is not located on the main street but you have to go intentionally. It was a bet also because in Naples the other confectionery is in a shopping centre, with a different target of clients, different mentality and of course a different format too.

– How did you choose the suppliers?

The secret was starting from the product itself and arriving to the product as it is conceived in the customer’s mind! What stays in the middle is worth of attention anyway. What I’m trying to say is that we wanted to give visibility to small craftsmen, who works in small ateliers and make small delights on their own; the idea was to join them under the same roof to strenghten their position. The first trouble was to match many “First Ladies”, with independent concepts and own skills. We convinced them because we decided to underline quality and to emphasize their name: we don’ t produce chocolate, we select it!                                                        In France and Belgium chocolate is produced more or less in the same way, in Italy there is a different tradition in each place: Turin, Perugia, Piemonte, Modena… and for this reason we select the best proposals, Silvio Bessone, Fabrizio Galla, Francesco Sella… 

– What exactly do you make here?

Pastries are made here, icecream and everything what is connected with the transformation of the craftsmen chocolate. We use the bars of Bessone and Sella to produce delights and Roberto Lobrano takes care of  the icecrem processing. An interesting thing that we introduce in the organization is to entrust a specific unit to an expert of the field: Roberto Lobrano for icecream, Besssone, Galla, Deriso for chocolate, Cioccolati Italiani for coffee…

  – What about your staff?

Here in Milan there are 18 people, but it is difficult to find skilled people. Two weeks are necessary as vocational education, but in the field of icecream it is one months. Although the turnover of shopassistants is quite high we focused on the support of a kind atmosphere, which can be perceived by our customers too. The strengh point is the relationship with the client because here chocolate is not only food, it is an experience.

– Any future improvements?

Probably we will focus on visual attraction of design. The caveau where we stock bars is fascinating but we need something like a small exhibition of our products in order to attract clients and to make them trying something new or buying something that they wouldn’t have seen behind the counter. With the same purpose we will also add small pieces of chocolate to taste.

Here there are other fotos of the location:

The caveau:






The shop:







Vincenzo Ferrieri:












And that’s to convince you that at Cioccolati Italiani chocolate is an experience: try it! 



We should look beyond the label: the Academy of Chocolate

What is the Academy of Chocolate?

The Academy of Chocolate was launched in the UK in London on 15 June 2005 and its aims are to: – Encourage chocolate lovers to ‘look beyond the label’ to differentiate between chocolate confectionery and ‘real’ chocolate;

– to improve the standard and knowledge of chocolate in the UK by promoting an understanding of the ingredients of chocolate, through the chain, from bean to bar;

– to encourage the transparent sourcing of cocoa beans from the plantations, and their production in socially fair and environmentally undamaging conditions;

Last year the first Academy of Chocolate Awards were held awarding prizes to a number of leading chocolate makers including Amedei, Valrhona, Rococo, l’Artisan du La Maison du Chocolat, William Curley, Paul Young and Chococo. The Academy members are available for tastings and wine-pairings for the public, educational programmes in schools, and discussions, forums, visits, seminars and demonstrations for chocolatiers, trade buyers, delicatessen owners, chefs and the media. It will also act as a resource to provide advice and information on everything to do with fine chocolate for the public, the media, chocolate producers, cocoa growers, and the hospitality industry.  

The Academy of Chocolate awards is now an important event in the chocolate calendar with entries sent in from all over the World. 

The Academy was delighted to receive over 300 entries for the 2008 Awards and the judging in January of this year took over 3 days with 30 judges including some of the countries leading food journalists and Michelin starred chefs tasting and scoring the entries. Chocolatiers also join the judging panel but are not permitted to judge any of the categories that they enter. 


The 14 categories in the Academy of Chocolate Awards include ‘best chocolate makers bar’, ‘best ganache filled chocolate’, ‘best flavoured bar’ categories, ‘best truflle’, ‘best organic’ categories and ‘best drinking chocolate’. We are delighted that the best ‘chocolatier’ will, this year, be supported by Quinta do Noval Port. In keeping with the aims of the Academy, criteria for the awards are that products contain natural ingredients with no artificial flavourings and colourings. For the first time this year the Academy have also introduced a best packaging award.  

The Academy of Chocolate was created in 2005 by 5 of Britain’s leading chocolate professionals, united in the belief that chocolate is one of life’s great pleasures. Membership has since grown but the aim remains the same, to campaign for better chocolate and promote a greater awareness between fine chocolate and mass-produced chocolate confectionery.The main aim:

Currently, only about 10% of fine cocoa beans reach our chocolate. The rest are destined for ‘industrial’ chocolate or chocolate confectionery.

The central point in the Academy is the belief that few producers really understand the difference between fine chocolate and confectionery. Nor do they realise that chocolate is made from a fruit, the cocoa bean, with flavours that can be just as subtle if they are not masked in sugar and fat. As a result it is difficult for consumers to find a selection of fine chocolate and make up their own minds. 

The members strongly believe that giving people the change to savour and to learn about fine chocolate will give them a greater appreciation and therefore an anticipation for more ‘proper’ chocolate. By the way, this doesn’t necessarily mean more 75% plus cocoa solids. Enjoying fine chocolate is not about suffering for the sake of very high cocoa solids. All the producers represented at the Academy produce their own milk chocolate bars. Top quality comes from a myriad of factors including the variety of the beans, where they are grown, the fermentation process, the drying and the manufacturers recipe and methods. 

Once you have discovered what pleasure, complexity, richness and wide sensations there is in fine chocolate, you never look at chocolate the same way, you never buy chocolate the same way. But not many people have had the opportunity to be introduced to fine chocolate and be blessed by the chocolate ‘light’. The Academy wants to bring this opportunity to as many people as possible, with no vested business nor commercial interest. 

 Demand for fine chocolate will act as an incentive to select better quality cocoa beans and therefore have an impact on the cocoa growing countries. They in turn will be able to take more care with their production, fermentation and drying methods thus protecting the workers and the environment. This will lead to a better price for the cocoa beans. Unless producers begin to pay cocoa farmers a decent price, like many other areas of agriculture, the young people will leave the plantations and move into cities where there is more lucrative employment. Cocoa plantations will give way to more lucrative forms of agriculture and the sources of the finer beans will be lost. Not only will this have a poor effect on the quality of cocoa and thus our chocolate but also will have a further destructive effect on the world’s environment. 


Published in: on giugno 12, 2010 at 11:01 pm  Comments (20)  

Innovation for a small group: Chocolight!

Interview to Chiara Boscolo: part 3

– I see “Chocolight” overthere, tempting and healthy at the same time is it possible?

Yes, the research of Venchi focused exactly on that aspect: creating a chocolate with the perfect taste of the normal chocolate but with less calories and sugar in order to be appreciateb by diabetics, caeliacs and silhouette fans. The product has to be healthy but not frustrating, that doesn’ t taste of renounciation but that indulgingly gratifies and satisfies the palate.

– How is this light chocolate created?

When choosing No Added Sugar Chocolate it is essencial not only to check ingredients but above all to evaluate and compare the taste. A shelf covered with brands of No Added Sugar products to offer to the customer is not what counts; what matters is customer satisfaction, because it is huge added value to be able to offer people with dietary restriction a product that not only is good for their health, but that also tastes great. In accordance with this princuple, Venchi’ s goal is to work on the countless quality of chocolate, thus increasing its healthiness but not only: the objective on the research, trying to stand out among the many brands producing sugar free chocolate to the disadvantage of flavour, has been to create a healthy but not frustrating product, which gratifies the palate.  After several years of study Choccolight started to be distributed only in specialist shops and in the pharmaceutical sector. This chocolate contains no addes sugar as it is sweeted with maltitol, a completely natural sustances extracted by processing the maltose contained in maize, which gives the palate a taste very similar to sugar but doesn’ t have any of its contraindications. Maltitol is slowly absorbed by the organism and drastically reduces the presence of glucose and allows people with diabetic problems to maintain a low glicemy index.  It is recommended by the American Dental Assocition as it combates the formation of caries.

– What does “light” mean in terms of calories?

All chocolight products are gluten free, thus suitable for caeliacs and are low calorie: 2.1 calories per gramm against 4.0 in sugar. Other favourable caracteristics are that thery are free of chemical and syntesis sweeteners such as Aspartame. Lastly these products are all dark chocolate and are rich in mineral salt such as potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and phosphor. They are ideal for sportspeople and contain less sodium than a bottle of Lete water.

And this is how the most sumptuosus food of all has become a source of health too!

Published in: on maggio 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm  Comments (15)  

Less “Company” more “Customer-focused”: importance and skills

Interview to Chiara Boscolo: Part 2


Why do you consider a “Cioccogelateria” a different from a normal “Gelateria”?

The Venchi shop idea was to make the company less “Company” and more within the reach of the public and the consumer. Such a change stems from a variety of reasons: the most important is being associated with the “Research and Development”. Direct contact with the public puts numerous “panels” at the service of the company, that are groups formed by the consumers themselves who, through product sampling, come into direct contact with the world of chocolate. Immediate experience of that kind or focused interviews give us a clearer vision and a better understanding of the market trends, hence, when it comes to products and assortment proposal for our customers, we confidently know how to move.

  Secondly, Venchi Shop is a tool of to boost our sales techniques, bringind us o understand in a direct manner the potential weak points or strong points of a specialist  retail shop. Constant staff training is essential, because there are to be no retailers or shop assistant incapable of explining the characteristics of a chocolate, ofer the rightproduct and understand whether the customer being served is a “dark-chocolate-lover” or a “soft-centred chocolate aficionado”. Therefore the initial impact is the most crucial moment: good vendors must be able to understand within the first few minutes who they are dealing with in order to direct customer to the best purchase, with the best advice and to earn the trust of the client, who will be satisfied with the choise made. These results can be obtained only through training ancd this is the approach od Venchi in its shops.

Explain me better the concept and the format of a Cioccogelateria, please:

A “gelato novelty” ha recently been introduced in the Venchi shop and all new shops have been designed as Cioccogelaterias, a model that goes with the logic of  product seasonability and complementarity: when chocolate is produced and sold less, like in Summer, the name of the most famous Venchi chocolates shift to the icecream counter. So Cuor di Cacao, Nougatine, Brutto e Buono, Unico all step into icecream of the highest quality, produced daily inside the Cioccogelateria with natural ingredients. In these sense Venchi has blended the quality and genuineness that have always characterized its production of icecream. Thus the Summer and Winter version of many recepies…

A rich and inviting selection of chocolate flavours decline the well-known specialities such as the recent “Cioccolato Azteco”, a captivating extradark chocolate sorbet with an intense flavuor, produced wit the old traditional recipe and free of milk by-products.

Completing the range are a series of classic cream flavours, from Nocciola (only PGI Piedmont Hazelnuts) to Crema Venchi, Fior di Panna and Pistacchio.

To summerize: which are the strong points of a Cioccogelateria?

As already said, for Venchi the Cioccogelateria is a privileged means od Research and Development and at the same time its promotional means par excellence: what Venchi doen not invest in traditional and sterile means of communication, it invests in the opening of shops in strategic points of the most important Italian cities (Bologna, Padova, Milano, Treviso, Torino), boasting an alluring and indentifiable format. It is precisely and mainly for this reason that the Cioccogelateria has been designed: to offer, make known and expand the range and the quality of its products to a public that is increasing thanks to the fame of icecream: an impulsive asset!

Cioccogelateria – Via Altinate,6 35100- Padova

Published in: on maggio 17, 2010 at 12:33 am  Comments (11)  

“The atelier of confectionary art”: interview to Chiara Boscolo from Venchi

The secrets of the Italian Nobel Chocolate explained by a shop-assistant of Venchi.

Two weeks ago I went shopping in Padua and I decided to take an icecream. In reality I chose that shop just becuse I know that icecream there tastes really good, without knowing that it was a “Venchi-Cioccogelateria” and that I would have met a nice shop-assistant of Venchi. To be honest, I also didn’ t know that Venchi was so important; a simple moment of relax became a discovery…

As I enter I notice a wide set of different kinds of chocolate icecreams and I thought it could have been a nice idea for my blog, so I asked the shop assistant if she was available for a short informal interview. She was really helpful and underlined that Venchi staff has to follow a preparation course about the company and its “philosophy”, so she could provide me all kind of information I needed.

We started chatting about the history of Venchi: it was founded in 1878 by Silvano Venchi and in 2000 it joined with Pietro Cussino, a candymaker from Cuneo. Thanks to the tradition of centuries and to the quality of unique products Venchi is really an “atelier of confectionary art“, whose aim is to transform cocoa in an extraordinary experience. For two years (2007-2008), Venchi was chosen as the ambassador par excellence of Italian products by the organization of the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Most of all our talk focused on three topics: Production, the innovation of Chocolight and choco for caeliacs and Venchi Cioccogelateria. In this post I want to speak about production, but I’ll write other two posts about the remaining topics.

Three words: Quality,  attention and…Investment in nuts!

In your opinion, which are the differantiation elements of Venchi compared with other Italian small industries dealing with chocolate?

“Research nd selection of the raw materials are the most important. The company’ s philosophy demands total respect of the quality, and scrupolous knowledge of the products selected is necessary. The suppliers and the raw materials we receive must all be certified, and that is the reason why we insist on establishing direct relations with the producers, controlling also the echnical production processes. We cannot disregard these qualitative standards, because the basis of a top quality product is the care taken in selecting the raw materials. An interesting example of this is the variety of hazelnut we use: only PGI, Piedmont Hazelnut variety.”

Why do you use the Piedmontese variety?

“After having tried the Tonda an Gentile varieties, it has proved to be the most suitable for several reasons:- it has the important natural characteristic of resisting rancidness, it has organoleptic qualities that are unique and its origin is the same of Venchi, that means for a logistic reason.”

Are top quality raw materials all you need to reach excellent results?

“They are essential but not everything. Venchi’s intent is to process every product with the same qualitative standards, because inadequate processing could damage the taste of cocoa or other ingredients. Each step has the same importance: transport, toasting, transformation…”

Why did you choose to internalize the processing of hazelnuts? Only for qualitative need or for other reasons?

“An excellent product must be made with natural and non-perishable raw materials that considerates also the healthfriendly aspect. Our investment in nuts is motivated by our philosophy of avoiding to use preservatives, artificial additives and flavourings. Having the chain in our hands means controlling each step and reducing all risks to the minimum.

What we want to do is to combine the concept of craftsmanship with total quality. It is of course the company philosophy but also our respect for the client and the fact that each employed member of the staff has to follow a course about the company “credo” means that we pay attention to the consumer and that we have to be able to satisfy your curiosities. We really belive that what we sell is genuine, controlled and high-quality.”

I have to say that I was surprised by all things that a simple shop-assistant could explained, but she answered to all my questions. Of course I tasted different kinds of choco-icecreams and it was an interesting experience.


Don’t miss the next posts about chocolight and for caeliacs (some for a small group) and about the idea of “Cioccogelateria” (few for many).

Published in: on maggio 13, 2010 at 12:22 am  Comments (8)  

Chocolab: How you build the How

There is a place near Perugia where the art of chocolate becomes reality. It is a real school where pleasure, culture, taste and wellbeing are mixed together to satisfy your will of chocolate.

From our point of view it can be considered the fusion between the multinational business of Nestlè, which owns Perugina, the perfection of chocolatiers’ experience and the common passion for cooking of a mother: here you can learn, step by step, how to transfom a raw bean into a masterpiece of delight.

The school is innovative because it teaches you not only to cook, bake or prepare candies, but also to taste chocolate and distinguish different kinds of beans, different processing techniques…again we come back to the comparison with wine: someliers like chocolatiers.

The school offers 14 workplaces with all instruments and equipment that you need to realize with your hands small masterpieces of beauty and delight. Courses start from chocolate origins, its history, its characteristics, the manufacturing process…in order to discover the secrets of the Gold of Maya and the secret of Perugina experience since 1907.

Perugina courses are directed to children, young people, men and omen who share the passion and curiosity for chocolate. At each course you meet people who accompain you in this experience and a visit to the chocolate museum and the facoty is included: a way to disover both the industrial and the artistic soul of this famous italian brand.

The courses are divided into:

Classicals: Master Milk, Master Dark

Artist’s courses: Tellit with a kiss, create your praline, 5 senses of creative pleasure,lessons of chocolate

Theme courses: Christmas tree, Easter eggs, Mum sweet mum

Courses for professional schools: chocolate, what a passion, future job

School courses: minidive, dive


The school has been the protagonist of several well-known events:                                                                                                                         

 14 Donna Moderna readers had the possibility to spend an entire day into the school and taking part in courses with the most skillful italian chocolatries, to learn how to please their children and husbunds with chocolate delights. They came home with a tray of self-made pralines!

– “Lessons of Chocolate”: some scens of the film “Lezioni di cioccolato” have been shot here. The casting, Neri Marcorè, Luca Argentero and  Violante Placido followed a course in this school to learn how to create perfect candies.

Try this nice experience, take part in a course, the famous Kamal Pyramid, known thank to the film, has its origin here!

Published in: on maggio 5, 2010 at 9:44 pm  Comments (32)  

From mass to self production:the keyword is “fair”

Chocoday -2009 October, 12th

Open Chocolatiers is this year’s big innovation, in collaboration with Fairtrade Italia. Teaching activities at schools are back, along with the partnership with CoorDown for the National Down Syndrome Day

 Good because it is made exclusively with cocoa butter and mass, without any added fat or vegetable oil. Good because it defends the ethical and social values tied to its production. And good because it is monitored throughout every production phase in terms of biodiversity, transparency and traceability.

For the fifth consecutive year, Monday 12 October 2009, was again Chocoday, the National Cocoa and Chocolate Day created and promoted by Eurochocolate in collaboration with Fairtrade Italia, the organisation that certifies fair-trade products to celebrate and promote Good Chocolate in Italy and around the world.

 Thanks to the partnership with Fairtrade Italia, the first Open Chocolatiers event will be organised this year: chocolatiers and patisseries all over Italy will allow the public to enter and discover the secrets of Italy’s best artisanal chocolate, made exclusively with chocolate certified by Fairtrade.

Cocoa producers, exporters and importers, chocolate producers, patisseries, chocolatiers, trade associations, schools, NGOs, institutions, companies and choco-lovers can offer a tangible sign of their desire to protect the quality of chocolate by signing the Chocoday Manifesto and organising activities to learn more about chocolate, distinguished by the official Chocoday logo (which can be requested free of charge).


Educational activities are held again at schools, where children and teens will receive an original “learning kit”. They also participate in laboratories, lessons and workshops, where they get in-depth information about the production chain, from cocoa plantations to the chocolate that is regularly served at our tables, in order to encourage aware consumption from an early age.

Following last year’s success, once again Chocoday is supporting National Down Syndrome Day, promoted by the Coordination of Down Syndrome Associations. It was held on Sunday 11 October 2009, in more than 200 squares in Italy, in order to encourage respect and awareness of diversity, overcome prejudices and promote true integration in schools and workplaces.

In short, Chocoday is an important initiative in order to spread the proper culture of chocolate and promote policies that can support an ethical profile in the sector’s economic sphere.

Published in: on maggio 1, 2010 at 12:51 am  Comments (7)  

The opinion of the World Champion: Luigi Biasetto


Luigi Biasetto: the winner of  the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie in 1997.

Luigi Biasetto opened his shop in Padua in 1998 and in 2007 he received the recognition of “Bar of the year” by the jury of Gambero Rosso.

Although the place is quite new in Padua, it doesn’ t mean it is not popular, and who can better represent the category of candymakers if not the World Champion? I went to interview him, and that is what I discovered.

First of all a visit to Biasetto Pasticceria is absolutely worth because of what you see when you enter:

You cannot imagine the shok on your face when you see this variety of delights..and you haven’ t tasted them yet! What makes Biasetto so famous is the huge amount of small “mignons” that he produced with his staff of 35 people, 90% of which are young promising boys willing to learn as much as possible by him.

Luigi, born and grown in Bruxelles-the homeland of chocolate, arrived in Italy in 1989 but he found an immature market, not ready for an innovation in quality, still focused on industrial production, so he decided to wait and in the meantime the worked as consulter for candymakers and chocolate procucers. This experience allowed him to get in touch with the most prestigous characters of the candy world and to know which brands or suppliers where the best. That means that, when he decided to open his shop in Padua and in 2008 in Bruxelles too, he was completely aware of the kind of approach that he had to follow to be successful: “High quality is the value that inspires each creation”. Domori and Valrhona are among the best cacao suppliers, who produce vintage chocolate made from beans of a single year’s harvest from a specific plantation: microplantation is the secret, not huge exploited mixed plantation supported by multinational companies.

Which is the main difference between industry and patisserie?

“You should have already understood- he argued. From a technical point of view industry uses a global approach: big quantities, quick production, high-tech processes and needs both a lot of raw materials and of stock. That means that they turn to big suppliers who declare monoplantation and inreality sell mixed cacao beans. Of course the industrial process allows them to avoid and reduce the effect of unexpected events like and to maintain a certain constancy. And we cannot deny that some kinds of chocolate like Lindt or Ferrero are not appreciable! The difference is also in the manufacturing: the percentage of cacao butter is a signal of  quality. As cacao butter costs a lot and its price can vary quickly because of the stock exchange fluctations, they prefer to reduce its percentage, in order to decrease the price…and quality too.

Chocolate tastes good if the weaving factory is short: if chocolate becomes white it means that a sudden change has has occured and cacao butter comes to the surface. The importance of short terms lead me, at the beginnig if  my experience in Padua,  to fix the expire date of mignons, pastries and cakes within a week to encourage immediate consumption to appreciate the perfect taste.  People protested because after a week  candies couldn’ t be eaten or given as gift but it was not a problem of preservation, I only wanted to stress the importance of quick comsumption to differenciate from industrial strategy.

Another point worth to be mentioned is advertising: 42% of industrial invertments are in ads. What does it mean? That WE EAT THE VISIBLE! Since when we were children we crawled in front of television bombed by many confusing promotional messages which conditioned out life, our choices, our opinion. Patisserie cannot exploit tv ads, or better it wouldn’t be the same thing if it exploited it: our publicity is the pass of word and it must be positive!”

I’m curious about the World Pastry Cup Festival, how does it work?

There is a team of 5 people, not necessarly from the same patisserie, with a coach and a substitute. We were 2 from Veneto, one from Lombardia, Toscana and Turin.  After national selection 2000 candymakers take part in this competiton  and only 100 arrive to the final to be judged by an international jury. We need one year of preparation to give birth to our creation, it’ s a real training, like for football or sport in general. The Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie is not only a place of culinary perfection, is shows the result of a long work which leads to the necessity to develop new technologies: for example in 1996, during a training, we invented the silicone mould, very useful when you haven’ t enough time to wait for the mould to become cool or to wash it carefully like in a competition. Unfortunately we didin’ t patent it, otherwise we would have become very rich! We on with the cake “Setteveli”.”

Setteveli is delicious mix of dark chocolate mousse, chocolate sponge finger, gianduia with corns, bavarese with nuts and… why don’t you come to taste it??                                                                                     
Published in: on aprile 19, 2010 at 10:35 am  Comments (16)  

Interview to a master hand candymaker

Until now we focused on the industrial chocolate production, but what about the hard work of a candymaker?

I visited one of the oldest confectioneries in Padua “Estense” and I met Paolo Luni, pastry chef, chocolatier and “Cavaliere della Repubblica”. As a matter of fact he was namen Cavaliere della Repubblica because his family owns a small biscuits industry, which produces only traditional biscuits from Veneto (Zaleti, Pazientini, Pevarini…) and sells them trying to affirm the importance of local goods. He traveled to Japan and to many European countries in order to defend Venetian and Italian products from imitations.

As far as “Pasticceria Estense” is concerned it was founded in 1925 in a small land near Padua-Este- and some years later, in 1959, it moved to Padua. Four generations have passed since 1925 and the confectionery still works successfully after several important recognitions.

– What has made your survival possible since 1925?

“Only the quality, we can defend ourselves only through the quality. Take Lindt for example: undoubtedly its chocolate tastes really good, but some years ago Lindt sold its chocolate only to candymakers, now it has decided to sell it at the supermarket too. What does it mean? That something has happend to make the price suitable to normal consumers and not only to confectioneries’ clients…

Chocolate is like wine: if you produce it in Padua to sell it in Padua there is no problem, but if you produce it in Padua and you want to sell it in Palermo you have to add something to make it maintain, not to alterate it. I’m a somelier, trust me!”

– In which periods of the year do you sell more?

When the cold season starts, from September to May-June. Every period has its specialty: In September we still have icecream, in October-November we have maron glacè, cakes and pastries with chestnuts or chocolate, in December we start with Panettone and Pandoro, in January-February we make “Galani e Frittelle” for Carnivel, in March-April we have the typical “Colomba” for Easter and chocolate eggs and then we start again with icecream or normal petit pastries.

– What about the relationship with the clients?

I am simply a candymaker, but I consider the first impression that the customer feels when he comes in very important. If it is good, he will comw back again. We have not only to offer delicious products, we have also to offer them in the better and most polite way. A good relationship with the clients is as successful as a new good cake.

– Is the role of a shop assitant important?

I have to underline that behind the kindly face of the shop assistant there is the work of many people and the work of a  tigh-knit team, otherwise you couldn’t see that kindly face; it is the result of a group that gets along well!

– Now its Easter, the Easter Eggs period: can you reveal me yor secrets? What does make them so….perfect??

Let’s watch the video and we will discover it.

What do you think? Interesting?  And you have never tasted the Estense chocolate…. 😉

Published in: on aprile 15, 2010 at 6:46 pm  Comments (2)  

Choco-egges: which is better? It’s up to you!

Industrial Process:

Chocolate Easter eggs have become inseparable from the image of Easter. Almost every child,  and most grown-ups, enjoys a chocolate egg or two at this time of year.

But how are they made?

It all begins in the basement of the factory where the ingredients are crushed and mixed. Melted chocolate is then pumped to different work stations through heated pipes. Melted chocolate is pumped out of a machine and into plastic moulds. Identical moulds are placed on top and then the moulds are shaken so the chocolate is distributed evenly and forms a hollow shell.

The eggs are put onto a conveyor belt and go through a cooler to make the shell hard. The top mould is removed and holes are made to make room for candy.

Thereafter the conveyor belt brings the eggs to a different room where they are filled with candy,eventually  decorated, wrapped up in plastic and packed into card board boxes.

The Easter egg production begins as soon as the production of assorted chocolates is finished after Christmas.

Chocolate Easter eggs are known in many countries, but each country has its own customs. It has become a family tradition to discuss and interpret the sayings.


Candymakers perfection:

Just some photos to understand the difference…




Home-made process:

The funny thing is that the hollowness seem­s to actually give choco-eggs a different taste or texture somehow.

­There are two common ways to make a hollow egg:

  • If you are using a mold that is open at one end – Fill a mold full of melted chocolate, let it sit for a moment or two and then pour the liquid chocolate out. Some of the chocolate will have solidified on the inside of the mold. This is also a common technique for making filled chocolates (for example, chocolate covered cherries or cremes). It works well if there can be a hole in the figure (usually on the bottom) when you get done.

  • If you are using a complete mold – Open the mold, fill it with some melted chocolate, close the mold and turn it so that the liquid chocolate coats the entire inside of the mold. Then open the mold after the chocolate has solidified.

­You can try the second approach if you have some chocolate and a plastic Easter egg that opens at the middle. Melt the chocolate and pour some into the plastic egg. Close the egg and rotate it in all directions to coat the interior evenly. Open the plastic egg and remove the chocolate — cooling in the refrigerator may make things easier. If you find it sticks, coat the inside of the plastic egg with a bit of oil or butter first­.­

You can also decorate them according to your taste:

So…What do you think? Which is your favourite?

Let me know!

Published in: on aprile 6, 2010 at 8:51 pm  Comments (1)