After a winter that has really not been a winter, in Rome we are preparing for a possible tiny dusting of snow.
This does not mean, in the style of our hardy New England relatives and clients, preparing for frozen pipes or getting out the snow shovels.
It means covering the lemon trees.
Telling the first terrace spring crocus that all will be well.
And fortifying ourselves with a platter of Rome’s best carnival frappe.
While much of Italy produces its own magical pre-Lenten sweets, there is nothing we love more than those two most emblematic Carnival desserts, frappe and (most especially in my own case) castagnole.
While pastry stores put these out immediately after Epiphany to tempt would-be dieters, really the period when they should be enjoyed is Carnival, which concludes next Tuesday.
We think that we have already found Florence’s best (Cantinetta da Verrazzano). And Venice’s best (La pasticceria del Ponte.) Every Florentine and Venetian has their own idea of course.
This man is waiting impatiently to buy a tray of castagnole. Why must he wait so long ?
This weekend, dear readers, we are on our annual hunt for Rome’s best frappe and castagnole. And shall report the full evaluation of our five guests tasters, all aged ten and under –all experts in the field.
A presto !