Italian cuisine comes from the long history of a storied and inventive people. Much of what we know and love from their culinary tradition is about savory entrées and beautiful customs that are centered around family, community, and making the most out of the ingredients on hand. So while Italian desserts may not come to mind readily when the subject of Italian food is tabled, the boot-shaped nation certainly has plenty to offer when it comes to offerings of the sweet variety. Here are a few of our favorite Italian desserts that would raise the profile of any table fortunate enough to hold them.
This fluffy, delicate, crème filled desert is very much like a doughnut- and may even have inspired them. They are lightly sprinkled with sugar and are meant to be served fresh straight out of the oven.
These delicate, crumbly shortbread cookies are crunchy, bittersweet, and soft on the inside. They may seem simple, but this is a combination of characteristics that is not easily achieved on a first try. Chefs who can produce these reliably have a firm grasp on timing and proportion.
Like Amaretti, the Panettone features a spectrum of textures from the crust to the center. This dessert is traditionally made from the leftovers from other seductive Italian foods. This one is a cousin to sweet bread and is made with candied fruit.
Occhi di Bue
One of Italy’s most well known, and most delicate after dinner treats, Occhi di Bue is a round shortbread with either a jam or hazelnut center. It is a frequent companion to the famously light Italian breakfast.
Dipped in either wine syrup or honey, Cartellate is so pretty- it’s almost a shame to eat it. These delicate fritters are often sprinkled with nuts, powdered sugar, or dried fruit.
A popular treat for Americans on vacation in Italy, Gelato is a denser version of ice cream with a higher milk-to-creme ratio than ordinary ice cream. The difference between this and ice cream may be small, but the experience is not.
Torta Della Nonna
The name means ‘Grandmother’s Cake,’ and if you know the first thing about Italian family dining traditions, this is all the endorsement it needs. These usually feature a uniquely lemony character which really makes them stand out wherever they are served.
Popular wherever they go, Zeppole is simply a ball of fried dough, topped with powdered sugar and often crème filled. They are traditionally served on Saint Joseph’s Day and occasionally feature an anchovy filling, making them an especially unique dessert.
As fun to say as they are to eat, Zabaglione is a custard-based dessert made from Marsala wine, egg yolks, and sugar. They are usually paired with a biscotti or panettone.
For desserts containing the best of what Italy and America have to offer, visit L’Amore today.