i couldn't have been happier upon arriving at carluccio's christmas in july event and being met with an ice cold, freshly squeezed lemon granita and glorious italian summer grub. on such a boiling hot day, i'm not sure if i could have gulped down a piece of dense christmas cake and some mulled wine. this refreshing feast was hosted at the bond street carluccio's, where i was introduced to the new foodie products and gifts for christmas 2014.
complete with fake snow adorning the entrance and the biggest panettone i've ever seen in my life, i stepped into the carluccio's shop to see the shelved stocked with italian goodies. a kid in a sweet shop springs to mind.
i present to you my new favourite italian sweets. mum if you're reading - i'd be more than happy with these in my stocking! the cittoli di torrone are cocoa dusted balls of almond torrone, which is similar to nougat but made from egg whites, almonds and a variety of honey blends. it had a slightly salty touch which brought out the bitterness of the dark chocolate.
the perle de mandorlato have a similar torrone inner, with extra salt, which are then covered in smooth caramel and white chocolate. truly indulgent and yummy, although i had to be careful with my poor sensitive teeth on these beauties.
an array of gifts for the sweet toothed amongst us (including me) such as lovely tins of biscotti, fiocchi de neve (snowflakes), christmas tree decorations filled with chocolate coins, sfogliatine alle mandorle and the moreish pistachio torrone. i especially enjoy nutty flavours so this pistachio treat was heaven for me.
fantastic gift sets with a difference included one for the chocolate lovers (pappardelle al cacao whaattt?), lemon fanatics, a classic coffee collection, essential olive oils, a set to make mushroom risotto and the bestselling carluccio's gift set. so much more exciting than a new pair of socks. i especially loved how most of the gift sets came in charming jars and tins which would look great reused in your kitchen.
when i'd worked up a sufficient appetite from eyeing up all the dreamy food, i turned to the fantastic spread. who needs a caterer when you're an italian restaurant, eh?
i enjoyed some luscious stuffed peppers, caprese salad, chargilled vegetables and anchovies with my lemon granita. then i might have left enough room for a few more of those sweeties...
i think growing brands like carluccio's can get a lot of stick for being a chain and losing their authenticity, but an impressive amount of detail and research goes into their products, gift sets, oils, types of pasta for different sauces and their super top secret panettone recipe. it certainly got me inspired.
don't get me wrong, it was a gorgeous sunny day and i don't want this weather to end. but i am sort of excited for christmas now, too.
you'll find these goodies in the carluccio's shops from autumn, until then find out more here... ♥