Sunday, 4 January 2015

One latte, two lattes, three... who counts anyway?!

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
The local baristas in our home town have mastered the art of making coffee, but still the Italian caffe latte is on a different level of quality and taste.

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
Actually we only looked at the cakes, as there were cakes aplenty at home. I only sighed at the sight of Sacher Torte, which is probably my top favourite cake of all times. I don't know if the Italians do a proper version of this Austrian decadent treat, as I never found out.

Cakes at Centro Storico
I have already sang songs of praise to Leon d'Oro in the past. It used to be Sasha's favourite cafe in town. As I said before, it occupies the most enviable position in town, just opposite the Cathedral. If I was doing a latte-o-meter of all the lattes I had in my life, Leon d'Oro's would be no.1.

Leon d'Oro

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?!

Centro Storico is not very far from the Cathedral as well, in the very centre, as the name suggests. Decent coffee and pastries are a welcome treat, when you are sight-seeing or shopping.

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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  1. I don't like espresso - way too strong for me, but I miss the whole coffee shop experience in Italy.

    1. Espresso is not my choice of coffee either, give me a latte any time.

  2. Oh my, look at those cakes. They look gorgeous

  3. What a cute smile! I fancy a trip over to Italy for an emergency latte.