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Tuesday, December 10

Fantasia Ripieni by Zaini

I love a good story. The way it blends with the product, the person or the image, magically weaving its gossamer web all around. Chocolate, movies and books are only successful to the extent they spin off an uncanny story that throbs in the heart and mind of the audience. And how we yearn for an unmissable story that will echo in our heart, making our own stories exceptional journeys inside and outside ourselves. This particular chocolate is full of story layers. First, it is the story of Luigi Zaini, a man who had a glorious dream: to satisfy the various needs for sweet in various people. His chocolate promised diversity and an unforgettable scent that would lure the passers-by of Milan area for 100 years.

Luigi knew that chocolate needed the seductive touch of a woman and thus Emilia, the dark block of chocolate, was born. Emilia, the cook who inspired Luigi, together with Olga, the wife, continued the work of this resourceful man and created the famous chocolate sports figurines that inspired children to take up football. Neither Depression years, nor the destructive World War could ruin the great dream or defeat the Zaini's ambition to make chocolate a sweet for all tastes. Olga Zaini, the first Italian entrepreneur woman, together with Luigi's sons, took the chocolatey dream further, making Zaini one of the most famous chocolate manufacturers of the world, with a long and successful tradition and lasting passion.

The chocolatier's story comes to life in the skillful hands of an English teacher who travelled to Italy to get inspiration and sketch her own story and that of her pupils. In Napoli, she discovered, enjoyed and decided to share her chocolatey adventure -Fantasia Ripieni- with one genuine chocolate lover. The assorted filled chocolates -Torroncino, Gianduja, Amaretto, Caffe- nicely travelled inside the generous luggage of the altruistic teacher, happy to rejoice in the curious hands of the chocolate lover. Layers of addictive aromas pampered the taste buds and enchanted the heart. The chocolates are smooth pralines with no bits made from cocoa, toasted hazelnuts and sugar. They are not too sweet and they melt instantly, leaving the specific aroma lingering for some time. They are not Zaini's most famous products -the Disney-inspired surprise eggs are more popular- yet they are happy, little chocolates, of different shapes and sizes, wrapped in bright colours that instantly catch your eye. A certain packet of chocolates fulfilled its destiny, taking Luigi Zaini's story beyond the seas, making his dream more lively than ever, in the generous hands of the English teacher who spoilt her chcocolate addict of a friend.

Thank you, Ioana Stancut!
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