Tom Hanks’ admonition to the riders of the Polar Express to “Never ever let it cool!” is something you would never have to tell Italians when it comes to drinking hot chocolate. For most Italians Cioccolata calda (hot chocolate) is the next best thing to gelato when there’s a chill in the air.
Now I’m not taking about the insipid, watery hot chocolate with a marshmallow on top most of us grew up with. I’m talking about cocoa with forza, strength. So much so that you need a spoon to drink or should I say eat it. It’s easy to forge an emotional attachment to drinking chocolate, as it’s called in Europe. My love affair with Italian drinking chocolate began in Citta’di Castello on a piazza near the Hotel Tifferno (one of my favorite places to stay when I’m traveling in Umbria). It was deep, dark, thick and creamy and unforgettable, with a head of cream (con panna) that rivaled a fine Guinness. A pefect drink to see and savor Italy when the weather turns cool.
Read more about authentic Italian Drinking Chocolate.