THE MAESTROS OF CHOCOLATE
All but impossible to resist with a hot chocolate on a winter afternoon: When day turns to dusk and the first lamps of the evening light the city, there’s no better way to round off a walk in the centre or an afternoon’s shopping than by indulging in a sweet treat. You couldn’t fail to be seduced by the display cabinets and counters of the Bolzano pasticcerie and the colours and scents of creamy desserts, biscuits and decorated cakes, all displayed in full view and begging to be served up with a hot drink. In winter, alongside the classic panettone and traditional South Tyrolean delicacies such as gingerbread Lebkuchen and nutty Zelten, the artists of all things sweet have a few surprises up their sleeves: In addition to the classic Sacher and raspberry hearts served throughout the year, winter season at the Acherer patisserie sees sweet pepper blossoms that will have you swooning at the very sight of them. Pastry Chef Andreas delights in working with seasonal products, and there’s no end to his novel combinations. To go with a cup of tea, you could choose from hazelnut dessert with pumpkin seeds, chocolate mousse with amaretto, spicy chocolate mousse, or sponge cake soaked in vin brulé and served with a chocolate mousse encircling a pear centre. Margit Dollinger from the historic Hofer patisserie, just a stone’s throw from the Ötzi museum, is well capable of tickling the most demanding of taste buds. Christmas tea biscuits fill the air with the scent of ginger and cinnamon, and a slice of buckwheat pie is always a welcome snack. A steaming glass of punch needs nothing more than a spicy Lebkuchen to set it off to perfection, and chestnut pastries and cakes are still readily available. The chocolate Saint Nicholas and Krampus figurines on display never fail to arouse curiosity. For a sweet gift that celebrates the tastes of the region, just make your way to the bustling Piazza Erbe - you can’t miss the "Chocolat" window display. The most popular chocolate bar is the "Bozner blumen" with mountain flowers from the local area, closely followed by the apple flake, pine nut and the famed Schüttelbrot crispbread varieties.