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Scent of chocolate

A trip from Turin to Modica

[Tripper: Paola]
ITSapori e coloriModica, Sicilia

Leaving Turin, you can reach Modica in just over 1,500 km, crossing the entire Italian peninsula. A journey from North to South that finds its guiding thread in the greediness of one of the most loved foods in the world: chocolate.
When the Spaniard Hernàn Cortès brought cocoa beans to Europe in 1519, he never imagined how much and what skill would develop around simple seeds. In the new world they were used to prepare an energy drink known as xocolatl.

Varietà di dolci tipici

Variety of typical sweets

Pasta di ciocciolato da assaggiare

Chocolate paste to taste

But in Europe they knew how to transform them with an innovative spirit and with such a taste as to be able to exalt them at the best.
The long tradition of Made in Italy master chocolatiers took off right from Turin. In 1560 the Savoys decided to move the capital of the duchy to the pre-Alpine city and celebrated for the occasion with the entire population, sipping a cup of hot chocolate.
It was the beginning of a long love story, which in the eighteenth century led to the birth of Bicerin, a drink based on cocoa, coffee and cream, and later on Gianduiotto, a typical Piedmontese chocolate.
In the same period, master chocolatiers also began operating in Modica, devoting themselves to tradition rather than innovation. And it is still so.
Chocolate in Modica is still processed as it was in the days of the Aztecs. They work it cold by adding granulated sugar which, at that temperature, cannot melt and gives it the typical roughness that is perceived both by sight and by taste. Aromas are the only concession to innovation. Compared to the more classic tastes, today you can find citrus fruits, coffee, chilli peppers and many other variations to satisfy everyone's delicious moment.
It is precisely the pleasure of chocolate that takes us from Turin to Sicily, a sort of journey back in time, to rediscover the taste of its origins. Visiting Modica is a dive into the past; its ancient atmosphere, engraved in the late Baroque palaces and churches, may seem outmoded but retains the aura of authenticity.
Entering a chocolate laboratory we have proof of this. The processing of cocoa beans has not changed over the centuries except for some mechanical help to help.
The master chocolatiers work the chocolate paste like the Aztecs but have also developed a local tradition that is found in typical Modica biscuits. They are called Mpanatigghi, and they are semi-moons, filled with almonds, chocolate, cinnamon and finely chopped beef. They were used in travel because they were caloric and kept for a long time. The taste is pleasant and does not reveal the unusual content.
Joys of the palate from South to North, which fortunately resist the wear and tear of time.
Our taste experience was consumed among the perfumes and tools of The Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, which for over 150 years, through the hands of six generations, has been producing handcrafted chocolate and other delicacies in the splendid setting of Modica.
Shop and laboratory are still in the same place since Francesco Bonajuto started his business in 1880: a small, almost hidden alley will invite you to enter a world of constantly re-interpreted flavors and traditions. Try to believe, you will be sweetened.
Have a good trip!

Modica come un presepe

Modica like a nativity scene

Dolceria Bonajuto - laboratorio

Dolceria Bonajuto - laboratory

Cannoli siciliani

Sicilian cannoli

Tryatrip alla dolceria Bonajuto

Tryatrip to the Bonajuto confectionery