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Dark chocolate...che passione!

Yesterday I visited a lovely place.. a workshop where delicious chocolate cakes are made every day! The rich fragrance of chocolate pervades every room. The owner and creator Claudio Pistocchi welcomes you with a smile introducing you in his world of chocolate (when he's not around the world for conferences and events).

The "torta Pistocchi" is very famous here in Florence. Made by hand since the very beginning, the Pistocchi torta contains no sugar, eggs, butter or flour. There are no preservatives, vegetable oils, or GMO’s: only the finest quality dark chocolate, bitter cocoa powder and a small amount of cream.
The Pistocchi Family has been producing this pure dark chocolate cake for over 18 years now. The cakes are hand-made, one by one, left to cool and then vacuum-sealed for freshness.

There are 5 different variations of the cakes:

The Classic:
This is the original that has made these cakes so popular among chocolate-lovers. Its rich and persistent flavor is the result of carefully blending select chocolate varieties. It’s a wonderful, velvety chocolate meant to be enjoyed, like all of their cakes, at room temperature.

Chili Pepper:
This was the first variation of the original Classic, obtained by simply adding chili pepper during the mixing process. At first all there is, is the intense flavor of the chocolate; it’s only towards the end that your mouth will start to tingle with the pleasant heat of the chili pepper, creating an irresistible combination of sensations. This version of this pure chocolate cake is so successful because the heat is just enough, and not too much. Interesting pairings include ginger snaps or red onion jelly.

Black Cherry:
In this variation, created in the fall of 2004, 30% whole candied black cherries are added to the original chocolate blend. A veritable explosion of flavor and freshness, the delicate balance between tart, bitter and, sweet sensations makes this, their favorite version. Originally produced as a limited release, it was so successful that it is now part of the standard production.

Sicilian Citrus:
This addition to the collection, presented at the International Wine Festival of Meran in 2005, is already a best seller. It’s in the village of Noto, Sicily, that Corrado Assenza, in his Caffè Sicilia workshop, creates the best candied citrus in all of Italy. The lemons and oranges of exceptional quality are handpicked when perfectly ripe and are candied using only sugar and painstaking care, giving us a chance to experience Sicily’s unforgettable aromas. The chocolate is gladly combined with petite portions of these candied rinds, taking on their wonderful flavors and enveloping them in a velvety and indulgent embrace. The best pairing for this version is with a high-quality limoncello.

The newest addition to the Pistocchi family, a coffee-infused version was presented for the first time at the Slow Food Salone del Gusto in Turin 2006 and instantly became a favorite among chocolate and coffee lovers. They use only pure Ethiopian Arabica coffee (Sidamo produced by Piantigioni del Caffè) whose sweet and persistent flavor is characteristically nuanced with citrus and floral notes. Their traditional, select blend of chocolate is combined with this very finely ground coffee leaving your mouth full of flavor and with a finish that lasts over ten minutes. They suggest pairing it with a good, strong coffee brew.

You can taste it and buy it in the brand new facility located in Via Ponte di Mezzo No. 22, Florence, which has a spacious visitor’s parking area: new location, same great atmosphere. this is the website: www.tortapistocchi.it

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