Last evening, our Italian language conversation group convened at a local restaurant to celebrate the season. At the head of the table was our native-born speaker Daniele with his wife Fanny and daughter Giuilana. Walter and I, along with Patrizia, Elena, and Davide laughed and conversed over an antipasto platter and a trio of pizzas, supported with a Placido Chianti.
As our waitress cleared the table, Daniele’s eyes started dancing, as they do when he’s poised to launch into suoi scherzi (his jokes) or hilarious imitations of i dialetti (regional Italian dialects.) But no kidding around this time. Daniele cued the waitress to serve una sorpresa (a surprise) from his hometown of Siena in Tuscany, a panforte newly arrived from Italy.
The confection, which dates from medieval days, is a dense bar of toasted almonds, candied fruit, and spices glued together with caramelized sugar, or more traditionally, honey. It was moister and tastier than any I’ve eaten.
Daniele’s eyes continued their merry movement so I knew that more was on the way. Out came the box of Pocket Coffee espresso, a candy made by the Ferrero. Daniele adores Pocket Coffee but claims he can’t find here in the States. This treat had also come in the mail from Italy. As we bit through the dark chocolate praline shell into an oozing center of sweet liquid espresso, we finally understood Daniele’s infatuation.
This morning I searched the Web and found that amazon and several other internet suppliers, sell Pocket Coffee. So Daniele, here’s to un’anno nuovo filled with Pocket Coffee at the click of a button.