I can see why the Italians worship their coffee, as it's simply marvellous. As customary, they prefer a very strong mini-cup of espresso, which is black and thick, and tastes almost like fuel. In a way, it is a fuel which keeps them going through the day.
Last week, when I happened to pop in the local cafe with my mother in law, she was chatting to the cafe owner Franca, who insisted on offering us a cup of coffee. Franca served us with two small cups of espresso and a bowl of sugar packets. No milk, milk is for wimps. I didn't want to offend an old lady, and drank it neat. Oh boy, it was so strong, my head almost exploded.
I could have danced through the night with all that energy. "I could have danced all night..."
But that was the only day when I had a neat espresso, most of the week I treated myself to cup of caffe latte.
We love a couple of cafes in the town centre, and would visit them mid-morning for a quick cuppa and some pastries.
Eddie basked in all the attention pretty Italian waitresses showered on him, he would cheerfully chirp "Ciao" when they called him tesoro or carino.
Sasha, on the other hand, was pretty annoyed with the Italian language. When you world is confusing as it is, to be among the people whose language is so different and incomprehensible to him, triggered his anxiety even more. He would retreat to the familiarity of the iphone and look at the photos of home and familiar objects.
Me, I was content, as long as Sasha was quiet.
|Eddie and I in Centro Storico, Ferrara|
|Latte at Leon d'Oro, the best in the Universe|
And the pastries are to die for as well. The choice is amazing. The cakes would tempt a saint, and I am certainly not a saint.
I swear my waist expanded from just looking at all those wonderful cakes and bakes.
|Cakes at Centro Storico|
|Cakes at Centro Storico|
And the pastries are delightful. Brioches of all sizes, filled in with custard-style cream, chocolate or my favourite hazelnut cream - nocciola, call to you "Eat me!" And how could you resist?!
I absolutely love the way the Italians serve caffe latte. They bring you a glass or cup of hot frothy milk and a small jug with hot espresso, which you add to milk - as much or as little as you like, and that is how it should be.
My only criticism regarding the prices is that a glass of milk costs the same as a cup of caffe latte or a cappuccino. Eddie wanted to have a glass of milk with his muffin or pastry, and honestly, does it take the same effort to pour a glass of cold milk as it is to make a cup of coffee? I don't think so.
If you are visiting Ferrara, don't forget to have a latte in Leon d'Oro or Centro Storico, and have a pastry or two. That's la dolce vita.
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