You might think I’m talking about the pursuits of the masqued Venetian party-goers of Carnevale but what I’m referring to is indulging my uncontrollable desire for Venetian pastries. Frittelle, zaletti (Venetian cornmeal diamonds) tiramisu and decadent tortas, where does it end? If you happen to be in Venice, never; Venice a city where sugar seems to be in the air. The seemingly endless Venetian pastry shops (pasticcerria) that line the narrow streets and spill out into each campo from the Dorsoduro to San Polo tempt you with all manner of confectionary delights.
Who can resist pallone di casanova (Casanova’s Balls) or not be intrigued by lingue di suocera (“mother-in-law’s tongues”)? Or the classic pastries of Café Florian with a romantic view of St. Mark’s Cathedral and canals that have enchanted visitors for generations. Although Baci in Gondola (kisses in a gondola), speckled white meringues bound together by a stripe of dark chocolate are appealing, my favorite Venetian sweets
are the Doge’s Cookies (Pan dei Doge). Being partial to Doges in general (see my blog on Descended from the Doge) these cookies are amazingly good. I am enamored of the pistachio version and if that weren’t enough to tempt my latent sweet tooth there is the exotic and elegant Torta del Doge, a small buttery cake filled with raisins topped with pine nuts and flavored with rum and I haven’t even mentioned the zabaglione cream puffs.