Italy is known for being the home of succulent pasta, seafood and other carb-o-licious treats (like pizza), but don't forget to save room for dessert. Some of the world's most treasured sweet treats resonate from different parts of Italy. Some dishes may be traditional to holidays while others can be enjoyed year round no matter when you have a flight to Italy. The verdict is- no matter what day it is, they are all truly finger-licking good.
Gelato: Gelato started hitting the American markets a few years ago, but Italians have been eating this frozen treat since Ancient Rome. Back then, it was made from snow and ice from the mountain tops. Gelato translates to ice cream in Italian, but there is something about gelato that tastes so much better than regular ice cream. It could be the lightness of the butter and sugar used in the recipe. Some of the best flavors range from fruit gelatos to tiramisu, another well-known Italian dessert.
Panettone: You'll spot this dessert during Christmas and New Year's in Italy and for a good reason. Panettone is a sweet bread loaf which originates from the high fashion city of Milan. Many legends tell the story of why Panettone originates from Milan, including one myth that a nobleman from Milan tries to win the heart of a baker named Toni. He creates this sweet bread and names it Pane di Toni- Bread of Toni. Wherever it comes from, we know today it is absolutely delicious with a fresh cup of cappuccino by the Christmas fire.
Tiramisu: Lovely in name and taste, tiramisu translates to "pick me up" and it truly is. Composed of lady fingers, egg yolks, mascarpone, liquor and cocoa, it is one of the most popular desserts in Italy. Some call it heaven in their mouth or the sweetest treat that none can beat, and for good reason. The soft layering of the ingredients blend well and tastes so divine.
Pignolata: Take carbs and mix it with sweets and you've got perfection in a dish. We can thank the Sicilians for Pignolata, fried dough slathered in caramelized honey. They are perfect little bite sized treats with a rich taste and a rich history. They were originally made for Fat Tuesday, the day before the Lent fast begins. The modern day version is topped off with rainbow sprinkles to make it a fun eye appealing treat for kids.
Sfogliatelle: This Italian pastry may be hard to pronounce, but only because once it's in your mouth, you'll be saying nothing but "Mmmmmmmm." All jokes aside, Sfogliatelle is an 18th century pastry created in a monastery in Salerno, Italy. The artistic appeal of this pastry is its strange shape and layered crusty shell that seems hard to create. Bakers must stretch the dough long enough to then roll it accordingly to create the ripple effect. They are then filled with ricotta or french cream mixed with a fruity filling.
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