Puddings. Preserves. Pies. Patisseries. Paris. The alliteration is not merely a façade. The words Patisserie and Paris have grown near synonymous throughout years of sweet, sweet indulgence; no longer do they merely share a common language. Today, Paris is known throughout the world as a hub of delightful treats, with names like Ladurée, Angelina, and Sadaharu Aoki that inspire dreamy sighs utter bliss amidst the sweet- toothed. Theirs are the stuff of dreams, where macarons form constellations in skies of pastel blue dotted with fluffy cotton-candy clouds. A world where the earth is literally caked in chocolate; where rivers run thick with syrup, where pies grow on trees. The city of Paris, essentially, is Hansel and Gretel’s house of sweets – only, very much corporeal.
nourish! team embarked on an assignment to La Morra of Northern Italy, only to be surprised by the unexpected discovery of slow food, wild Muscat grapes, highly sought-after white truffles and a series of culinary wonders. Nowhere do people take gastronomic pleasure more casually than in Northern Italy.
Everyone eats fresh in Venice – at least, that’s the impression one gets, walking sunken cobblestones between slender rivers and miniature canals. Sure, there is a breathtaking view everywhere you turn; sunsets from the Rialto and the Grand Canal from within a gondola. The streets echo vibrancy and vivacity, time-honoured customs evident through every window display depicting colourfully-feathered Festivale masks and huge blocks of traditional cakes. Street vendors keep a hawk’s eye upon their wares: fruit and vegetables in all the autumn shades one could ever harness enough creativity to imagine. It is a city touched by the decay of time, its people hardened so as to adapt. Yet that, as it turns out, is precisely that which is beautiful and romantic about Venice.
Florence: the capital of art, the birthplace of the revered Renaissance, the heart of history with intricate links into the noble family of the great Medici duchy. We read of it in history books, tear our hair out over dates and facts to be remembered for examinations. Yet as we grow older, we become fascinated by the depth of its wealth and history – by the culture so stored within its architecture and its people. From Michelangelo to da Vinci, Florence – or as the Italians call it, Firenze, has seen its share of celebrated artisans, the work of which has impacted the world of art, from the shining days of the renaissance to the more contemporary and modern scenes of today.
Rome – Once the seat of the great Roman empire, it houses two thousand and five hundred years of celebrated history. Taking a walk in the city center of Italy’s capital invokes sensations of glee in those who love action-packed movies set in ancient Rome. One almost expects to see gladiators in horse-driven chariots charging along the cobblestone streets, spears held at the ready to break some invisible enemy down. Ladies in chitons and gents in togas riddle the mind. In Rome, one relives the days of the Holy Roman Empire, set so far down the road of history. It is magical. It is wonderful.
It is Rome.