Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Back From Venice

Last week Allison and I decided to go on a little vacation to Venice.  Seeing as Venice is only a couple of hours away it made for the perfect long weekend flight.  While the goal of the trip was to relax and have a good time, being the Candy Critic I couldn't ignore some of the awesome treats around me.  So here's a quick round up of some of our finds.  We start at our stop over airport in Vienna.
I think I could dedicate a blog to airport snacks alone.  For some reason these places sell the most unique, and over priced treats available anywhere in the whole world.  Sometimes it's treats you know packaged in a weird way, like this giant package of miniature packages of Tic Tacs.
There was also regional treats available, like this Sacher Torte, a popular cake in Vienna. Apparently when the cake has the word dummy written on it that means that's it's a fake cake.  I thought that it meant you'd have to be a dummy to pay 25 Euros for a little cake.
The one great fine I discovered in the Vienna airport was Almdudlec (sp?).  It's a tasty sparkling apple drink that has the most retro cool graphics on the bottle.
On the airplane we got a bag of salty snacks with the crackers depicting an airplane and the pretzels depicting clouds. We then went on to reenact Godzilla with Allison playing the role of the airplane eating monster.
Finally in Italy, in no time we where inundated with classic Italian food and snacks.  There were hundreds of shops selling every shape and colour of past imaginable.  Strangely not one store selling pasta didn't include at least one obscenely shaped pasta.  See if you can spot the adult themed pasta in this picture.
There were also hundreds of shops selling all kinds of sweets.  I was fairly disappointed that most of these shops really pushed Swiss, German, and Belgian chocolate.  There was always a few Italian treats, but most seemed to be imported.
This was our first sweet treat experience.  It may look like a chocolate croissant or a pain au chocolat, but it was so much more.  It's called "fornarino al chocolate" and it has a denser pastry than a croissant, it seems to have a cinnamon spice added to it, and the pastry isn't as sweet.  Well worth sampling if you can find one.
I love the way some cultures interpret other cultures.  I've had many American pizzas in my day, but I can't say I've ever seen a pizza in the USA with eggs and bacon in it.
A Pope in chocolate, I'm pretty sure this would be sacrilegious to eat, but probably pretty tasty.
Of all the treats we discovered peering into windows, these green cookies where the most curious.  Our best guess is that the green comes from pistachios, and the brown cracks are chocolate filled.  We also saw them without chocolate as well, but what's the point in that.  The cookie itself is OK, kind of dry and really hard, but tasty enough.
As far as the best non-sweet food we tasted on the trip, it had to be these bruschetta from a local pizza place near our hotel.  8 Euros for a slice of bruschetta is very expensive, but just looking at all of the fresh ingredients pilled on top, we couldn't resist.  It's a good thing decided to give them a try because they were fantastic.  We paid many more Euros for full sit down meals that didn't deliver what this small pizza stall had to offer. All of the ingredients where fresh, it was heated up, covered with just a little cheese, and drizzled with olive oil.  It was perfection with each bite.
While the best non-sweet treat I had on this trip was the bruschetta, the best treat I had goes to the gelato.  I decided on this trip that I would have gelato only once, so I had to pick the perfect place to get it.  There are hundreds of gelato placed in Venice, and it took me two days to make my choice.  My pick was based on the the flavours available, and the presentation of the gelato.  The place I picked had their gelato decorated with all kinds of toppings, and they offered two flavours that I really wanted to try, dulce caramel and cheese cake.  Notice the dulce caramel in the picture above is drizzled with thick tasty caramel.
The serving size was ample, and the server made sure I got plenty of the toppings.  It was a smooth and creamy dessert that I will never forget.


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