Italy, the home for good food, is also home to several types of very good chocolate. Italian chocolate has a small, albeit significant role to play in the introduction of cocoa beans and chocolate to the world. Italy today produces one of the finest chocolate in the world.
Spain, as the history of chocolate shows us, has introduced cocoa and chocolate to the world. But, in the beginning, Spain kept this discovery hidden, wanting that trading advantage. The Italian trader and explorer Carletti shared the secret of the chocolate he had enjoyed on his travels.
This helped spread the word about chocolate in his native country.
Eventually all of Italy was caught up in the mania of chocolates and soon there were chocolateries in different cities. Venice and Perugia became important centers for chocolate manufacturing in Italy. Legend also has it that Italians are the people who introduced Germany, Austria and even Switzerland.
Ghirardelli, the now-popular American brand, began in Italy.
Ghirardelli discovered how to create completely fat free cocoa. An employee left some ground cocoa beans in a bag overnight. By morning, the cocoa butter had been absorbed and what was left was fat free cocoa.
That’s how Ghirardelli started making cocoa by extracting cocoa butter from ground beans. Another popular chocolate maker from Italy was responsible for creating the popular ‘kisses’ variety of chocolates. His name was Francesco Buitoni and he created these little drops of chocolates that looked like kisses and wrapped a love message around them.
These chocolates were a big hit in love-fond Italy. Amdei, Venchi and L’Artigiano are the popular chocolate brands in Italy today.
Italian chocolate is used in many items like cakes, cookies, truffles, chocolate cookies, spice cookies candy and chocolate balls. Chocolate has become so big in Italy that it has replaced the regular Easter egg tradition. Today many manufactures manufacture special chocolate Easter eggs. They use all kind of draws to get people to buy their chocolate eggs. There all kinds of goodies within including engagement rings and cell phones. Ferrero is the company that is very popular for its chocolate eggs.
The areas in Italy popular for chocolate are Piedmont, Tuscany, Sicily, Turin and Veneto. Italy even hosts many chocolate fairs through the year that make chocolate a wonderful tourist destination. In these fairs, many recipes are passed on which show how to use Italian chocolate to its best.