Join us for a morning walk on Easter Sunday!
When Venice is basking in the sun, on Easter Sunday. You could definitely eat breakfast outside on my favorite campo in the neighborhood, Campo della Bragora in Castello. I love the spring morning light flooding this wide campo and its oleander bushes that will soon be covered with white vanilla-scented blossoms.
One of my favorite pastry stores in our neighborhood, Pasticceria alla Bragora, is perfect to enjoy the sunlight in spring, and their cornetto is famous in Venice, and a favorite treat for breakfast = #donotmissit !
A Venetian cornetto is a mixture of brioche and croissant, or rather, a very soft and buttery croissant. Below you can see a cornetto alle mandorle with almond cream filling (crema alle mandorle), covered with almond flakes and powder sugar which “sinks in” and almost looks and tastes like frosting, surprisingly crispy and soft at the same time.
Venetians have loved almond cakes, everything almond, since times immemorial. The oldest cake recipe using almonds and pinoli (pine nuts) we know of goes back to the 12th century. The secret of Venetian almond cakes is that mandorle amare (tiny amounts of bitter almonds which do not taste bitter at all if used in the right way and very sparingly) confer that amaretto taste we love so much to the dough and/or the cream filling. Often, the almond filling contains a spoonful of apricot jam which makes it taste even more sweet and delicious.
Venetians love their cornetti glassati, frosted cornetti, and above you can see that they are sprinkled with almond flakes before baking. Still hot, fresh out of the oven, the cornetti are covered with powder sugar, so they look like they’re wearing a coat of white icing.
The other cookies you can see above are biscotteria mignon, miniature Easter & spring cookies. Many cookies include ground almonds in their dough or frosting, and often their dough is enriched with apricot and cherry jam, or they are filled with cocoa and coffee-flavored ricotta. All sweet treats above are made at Pasticceria alla Bragora and are usually on sale during the Easter holidays. The “almond fingers” covered with coarse sugar are so soft inside and outside, a treat to take home for tea :-)
Of course, you will see the festive Venetian Easter cakes, called focacc, everywhere in the shop windows in town, arranged next to oversized chocolate eggs. But there’s also pasticceria mignon for you to taste, which comes in the shape of Easter doves (colombette), or as almond cookies filled with strawberry jam.
Want to read + see more about what breakfast in spring looks + tastes in Venice? Join me for a walk in “My Venice”!