Friday, November 23, 2012

Il Festival di Cioccolato

This morning couldn't have gone better.  I met, by chance, one of the other au pairs whom I haven't really seen in (possibly more than) a month while I was waiting for Léa in Piazzale Flaminio.  We ran to get a coffee together, during which time I told her my plan to go to the university and see if I could find some lectures to audit.  She wants to come, too!  In fact, she's working on her second masters degree right now so she's definitely of the academic mindset.  I'm surprised she isn't too completely exhausted to come.  There's another girl I met through Emmanuelle in our class at language school.  She works for a family whose father is a professor at the university.  He confirmed that you could attend lectures for free.  So now we have a little group to go on Monday and investigate.  I have no idea what we'll find, because the website was a bit confusing.  I think you have to inquire about the schedule with the different department heads, but I'm not sure.  Anyway, even though courses are wrapping up for the end of the semester in the United States, they are just getting started in Italy.  The system is not entirely clear to me yet.  Maybe I'll figure it out after I show up.  And maybe being at a university will inspire me to finish my own university applications.

The main event of the morning, however, was to go with Léa to a chocolate festival I'd read about on one of my Rome blogs.  To get to the festival we had to take the tram near my apartment.  We were both starving and I tempted her with pictures of the pumpkin pie I'd made yesterday.  So as we passed the building I ran upstairs, grabbed some plates, forks, and napkins, and assembled a little take-away platter (complete with whipped cream on top).  We paraded down the street with our pie to a little park across the river, where we enjoyed the first of the Thanksgiving leftovers.  I talked about how today was a big shopping day in the United States, and she already knew about it!  Apparently Black Friday has been featured in several films and TV shows she's seen...who new?  I'm kid of sad that it's such a famous phenomenon.  Thus sustained, we made our way to Piazza Mazzini where we were greeted by a circle of tents full of chocolate and people wanting to give us samples of typical Sicilian desserts.  There was every shape and size of chocolate imaginable -- look at the chocolate shoes below!





After we circled the festival once or twice, sampling all the while, we went around again to make our purchases.  I bought bought some candied ginger and orange peel dipped in dark chocolate, along with some dark chocolate espresso beans.  Léa bought lots of kinds of truffles.  We immediately  sat down to enjoy our treats next to the fountain in the middle of the piazza, all the while being serenaded by a school band (which, it must be noted, included several classical guitars).





I also tried marron glacés for the first time, thanks to Léa!  If you're like me and don't know much about this French-Italian dessert, it's basically a candied chestnut.  It tasted pretty nice, but a little bit mealy.  I've tried it in gelato before and think it goes very well.



I told Léa that the only problem with having a such a nice morning is that the day couldn't possibly get any better.  She pointed said that maybe we'd meet the man of our dreams later, or find a €50 bill on the street.  You never can tell.

6 comments:

Tara said...

Love the chocolate shoes! Not so sure about the marron glaces...looks a little questionable to me. I hope that you do meet the man of your dreams and find a 50 euro bill! That would be awesome.

Amanda said...

Ah, chocolate deliciousness! Andrew couldn't believe that those shoes were truly made of chocolate. Also, he wants me to tell you he gave Emily and me a calculus lesson this evening as we waited for my parents to return from their Black Friday shopping so we could have our dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers.

Katie Becker said...

I know, aren't they great! So much better than the chocolate pliers that you can see right next to them in the corner of the picture. I'm pretty sure they were chocolate, through and through. Though I didn't actually eat one...so how can we really be sure?

I have some reservations about marron glaces, but they were not bad.

I'm impressed, Andrew! I hope Julie is enjoying calculus just as much... ;)

Emily said...

I'm glad that you had a delightful day! It sounds wonderful to run to run into a friend, randomly.

Emily said...

I meant to say "to run" only once, of course!

Katie Becker said...

Yes, it's almost even more delightful when you're not expecting it.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Il Festival di Cioccolato

This morning couldn't have gone better.  I met, by chance, one of the other au pairs whom I haven't really seen in (possibly more than) a month while I was waiting for Léa in Piazzale Flaminio.  We ran to get a coffee together, during which time I told her my plan to go to the university and see if I could find some lectures to audit.  She wants to come, too!  In fact, she's working on her second masters degree right now so she's definitely of the academic mindset.  I'm surprised she isn't too completely exhausted to come.  There's another girl I met through Emmanuelle in our class at language school.  She works for a family whose father is a professor at the university.  He confirmed that you could attend lectures for free.  So now we have a little group to go on Monday and investigate.  I have no idea what we'll find, because the website was a bit confusing.  I think you have to inquire about the schedule with the different department heads, but I'm not sure.  Anyway, even though courses are wrapping up for the end of the semester in the United States, they are just getting started in Italy.  The system is not entirely clear to me yet.  Maybe I'll figure it out after I show up.  And maybe being at a university will inspire me to finish my own university applications.

The main event of the morning, however, was to go with Léa to a chocolate festival I'd read about on one of my Rome blogs.  To get to the festival we had to take the tram near my apartment.  We were both starving and I tempted her with pictures of the pumpkin pie I'd made yesterday.  So as we passed the building I ran upstairs, grabbed some plates, forks, and napkins, and assembled a little take-away platter (complete with whipped cream on top).  We paraded down the street with our pie to a little park across the river, where we enjoyed the first of the Thanksgiving leftovers.  I talked about how today was a big shopping day in the United States, and she already knew about it!  Apparently Black Friday has been featured in several films and TV shows she's seen...who new?  I'm kid of sad that it's such a famous phenomenon.  Thus sustained, we made our way to Piazza Mazzini where we were greeted by a circle of tents full of chocolate and people wanting to give us samples of typical Sicilian desserts.  There was every shape and size of chocolate imaginable -- look at the chocolate shoes below!





After we circled the festival once or twice, sampling all the while, we went around again to make our purchases.  I bought bought some candied ginger and orange peel dipped in dark chocolate, along with some dark chocolate espresso beans.  Léa bought lots of kinds of truffles.  We immediately  sat down to enjoy our treats next to the fountain in the middle of the piazza, all the while being serenaded by a school band (which, it must be noted, included several classical guitars).





I also tried marron glacés for the first time, thanks to Léa!  If you're like me and don't know much about this French-Italian dessert, it's basically a candied chestnut.  It tasted pretty nice, but a little bit mealy.  I've tried it in gelato before and think it goes very well.



I told Léa that the only problem with having a such a nice morning is that the day couldn't possibly get any better.  She pointed said that maybe we'd meet the man of our dreams later, or find a €50 bill on the street.  You never can tell.

6 comments:

Tara said...

Love the chocolate shoes! Not so sure about the marron glaces...looks a little questionable to me. I hope that you do meet the man of your dreams and find a 50 euro bill! That would be awesome.

Amanda said...

Ah, chocolate deliciousness! Andrew couldn't believe that those shoes were truly made of chocolate. Also, he wants me to tell you he gave Emily and me a calculus lesson this evening as we waited for my parents to return from their Black Friday shopping so we could have our dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers.

Katie Becker said...

I know, aren't they great! So much better than the chocolate pliers that you can see right next to them in the corner of the picture. I'm pretty sure they were chocolate, through and through. Though I didn't actually eat one...so how can we really be sure?

I have some reservations about marron glaces, but they were not bad.

I'm impressed, Andrew! I hope Julie is enjoying calculus just as much... ;)

Emily said...

I'm glad that you had a delightful day! It sounds wonderful to run to run into a friend, randomly.

Emily said...

I meant to say "to run" only once, of course!

Katie Becker said...

Yes, it's almost even more delightful when you're not expecting it.