Monday, March 29, 2010

La pasticceria

One of the great attractions of Italy, after restaurants, wine and art, are the pasticcerie. We might translate with "bakery," but Italians mostly separate bread products from pastries. So a bakery (non-sweet) will be called a panettiere/panetteria. Alas, the latter are increasingly rare, what with the Italians going to supermarkets and not wanting to be bakers. Not that you won't find some mixture in both places. But the pasticceria is going strong.

A pastry in Italian is una pasta, just like the word for the savory dish, but it will usually be found in the plural, le paste. I find that Italian pastries and cakes are superior to American ones, but pies aren't. An excellent idea when you're in Italy is to skip the dessert and coffee at the restaurant and go to a pasticceria after your meal. You're likely to save, too, and have more of a choice.