7 Sweet Stops In Naples
09 August, 2016
Naples “non è solo pizza”, although the margarita is of course the local leading light. And rightly so. But, for now, we’re going to highlight other specialities in the capital of the Campania region which are not to be scoffed at. Here, then, are the must-visit spots for lovers of confectionery, ice-cream and chocolate.
A highly popular confectioner's among Neapolitans and, when the locals are die-hard patrons of a place, this is a safe bet. It opened in 1894 and offers a huge variety of top-quality hard and soft chocolates of all kinds which are bound to liven up your stroll through the streets of old Naples. They also have biscuits and ice-creams – you should try the dark chocolate variety, of course. However, the creation that won us over is their Vesuvio, a dark chocolate mountain shaped like Vesuvius, the ideal souvenir for taking back to your chocolate-addict family.
Chalet Ciro – The Most Popular Ice-cream Parlour
Quite a long haul from the tourist centre of Naples, but a rewarding treat after a protracted walk along the scenic coast. This popular stopover, located at the end of the Riviera di Chiaia, is the place for savouring a delicious, creamy Italian ice-cream served in a cone, a tub or a huge brioche, a local speciality. It may be a calorie bomb, but a pleasure bomb, too. The bun is dripping with the creamy ice-cream flavours. This is a popular meeting place for Neapolitans, both by day and by night, where over 30 ice-cream flavour sare waiting to be indulged in. They also serve coffee and pastries.
“Caldo Freddo” at the Bar Mastracchio
Perhaps the most surprising treat of all, as this unpretentious bar is actually famous for its coffee. But Caldo Freddo is no ordinary coffee; it’s an espresso topped with a vanilla ice-cream mix and a wisp of hot, melted chocolate. However, be sure not to stir it, but down it in one go, as the idea is to let the hot and cold mingle in the mouth, as will the liquid and creaminess and the flavours of coffee, chocolate and vanilla. You will be bowled over, capable only of craving for another fix. Why deprive yourself of this treat? It’s the only place in town where a Caldo Freddo costs only 1 euro. Mamma mia!
(Vico Tofa, 4)
Gran Bar Riviera – A Pastry Shop On a Grand Scale
The epitome of a vintage pastry shop, its display cabinets are stuffed with countless pastries and buns, capable of giving you a surge in blood sugar by just looking at them. The premises appear not to have changed one jot in the last sixty years. One of their best-known Neapolitan specialities is torta pastiera, made of puff pastry, ricotta cream and roasted wheat, aromatised with orange blossom water, among other ingredients. Sold mainly in Holy Week and packed in a pretty tin which would go well in any retro kitchen.
The “Babàs” at Scaturchio
You simply cannot pass up this sweet institution in Naples. The pastry shop has won international acclaim for its mini babàs (a kind of brioche based on egg and butter which is baked and then dipped in rum syrup). This favourite of Pope Benedict XVI can be savoured on the spot with a ristretto, or at a table in the pretty square. You should also try their riccia, a pastry stuffed with ricotta cheese. Quite a treat!
Pintauro Will Steal Your Heart With Their Capresinas
They’re not noted for their friendliness but, so what? As minute as it is old – the pastry shop has been open since 1785 – it is famed for its sfogliatelle (a pastry stuffed with ricotta, candied fruit, custard and semolina), zeppole di San Giuseppe (a custard-filled tartlet) and capresinas (heart-shaped chocolate-and-almond pastries). And, yes – they will steal your heart!
(Via Toledo, 275)
Stracciatella Ice-cream at Emilia Cremeria in Pompeii
In case you thought you’d be safe beyond Naples, think again! When visiting the capital of Campania, you’re likely to go sightseeing in the amazing ruins of Pompeii, which was buried under the lava erupting from Mt Vesuvius. After such a long and exhausting outing, you could do with a great reward. In Pompeii’s main square, be sure to try the ice-creams at the Emilia Cremeria. With that creamy name, imagine what their ice-creams must be like, particularly the stracciatella – the epitome of creaminess and yet very light. For the out-and-out sweet-toothed, order it in the traditional style, with the ice-cream nestling in a brioche bun or warm croissant. To die for!
Book your Vueling to Naples, where all these flavours await you!
Text and photos by Laia Zieger of Gastronomistas.com
09 August, 2016