Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Corner View: Sweets

This week's Corner View theme is on "Sweets." Amble on over to Jane's Spain Daily, the originator of the Corner View, to see her response and to click on the links to all the other participants' responses.

I am not big on big sweets. American picnics, dinner parties, and restaurants serve humongous slices of pie and cake at the end of the meal. Personally, I don't need a large dessert. I like to extend the meal over conversation and nibbles. But in America, there are no desserts to order that are nibble types. No cookies or small bowls of something.

I was introduced to the height of the nibble dessert in a Florentine restaurant. Visiting Florence with my husband some years ago, we connected with the waiter who was gregarious and friendly. We allowed him to give us a gustatory tour of Florence through the menu. He appeared with each course, flourishing it and explaining it fully, along with history and context. LOL, he was wonderful. At the end, he introduced us to Cantucci and Vin Santo.

Cantucci are twice baked biscuits (biscotti) with almonds. The traditional biscotti dough is shaped into a log, baked, evenly slice on the diagonal, and then baked again. The second baking removes the moisture making them hard. That's where Vin Santo comes in, a sweet dessert wine. Dipping the hard almond Cantucci into the sweet wine makes for a delightful combination, and just the right amount of sweetness to finish off a dessert. Nibble.

Here in rural Georgia, finding Cantucci is impossible. I must rely on my memory of the lovely restaurant in Florence so many years ago. It is enough. I have had cantucci and vin santo, thus, I have lived.


Christie said...

Yum! I believe I have a recipe for biscotti somewhere around here, and some Vin Santo to boot so I should give this a whirl. On a side note, if you're ever in Portland (OR, that is) there is a restaurant called Carlyle that serves a tiny plate of house-made chocolates and/or pastries at the end of a meal. Very tasty!

la ninja said...

hiya, these (or a very close relative) are called "carquinyolis" were I come from. lovely, they are.
there seem to be a few recipes at the bottom of this wiki page; perhaps fun to try and re-create them at home:

you made me think of my home, so hey, I may have a go myself. yay.

likeschocolate said...

Here in Atlanta it is more and more possible to find nibble dessert because I think many people are staying away from the dessert due to the calories.

jane said...

yes! i love this. it is also customary to dip "cookies" in wine here. mmmm!