El Caigo and Venetian Orange-Flavored Winter Pastries

El Caigo and Venetian Orange-Flavored Winter Pastries

Winter in Venice comes with fine sunny mornings or very foggy, dark and so humid. We call this persistent fog el caigo and it means the cold morning air really penetrates into your clothes while going for a brisk morning walk. You will definitely be craving to find a shelter in a cafe-bar after a little time.

Here I am telling you what to expect now in winter in Venetian bar - pasticcerie, to accompany your morning cappuccino, and it is all flavored in a very exotic way, with all kinds of oranges and citrus fruit now in season. Admittedly, not all of these grow in Venice, but we do have a few protected spots in secret gardens.

The Venetian pasticcerie (pastry stores) love using these exotic ingredients. From bergamots to vanilla kaki and Amalfi lemons. And they offer chocolates flavored with candied pieces of citrus fruit, or citrus essential oils and juice and so often, with home-made emon or orange jam!

This week's finding is orange-flavored truffles. Just a few days into Carnival, you might want to complete the experience and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate as well.

At Pasticceria Ponte delle Paste, I tried one of their signature pasticina all'arancia - pasta frolla farcita di crema all'arancia - a soft cakelet filled with orange cream made from milk, sugar, vanilla sugar, starch flour and freshly pressed orange juice). Call it orange-flavored crema pasticcera. There are also pastries filled with orange and lemon curd, and in my next blog post, you will get an overview of these treats. There will also be orange-flavored meringues !

Other flavored delights are available at Venchi Chocholates in Calle dei Fabbri, a few steps behind Piazza San Marco. Here, an impressive chocolate shop opened ten years ago, originally from Cuneo, near Torino. Guess what is their winter chocolate specialty: dark orange-flavored chocolate !! There are also candied orange slices covered with white chocolate - but that is another story and actually inspires me for my another post on the 11 kinds of chocolate Venetians love for Carnival ..

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