Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Honestly, I don’t even know how other people function without it. Not even a cup of coffee to start your engines, most especially a decent meal? When I eat breakfast, it boosts my mood, energy, and bodily functions. It powers me through the day and somehow dictates how my day will go.
Partaking breakfast like a true Italian means sipping your espresso or cappuccino and every once in a while, dunking your favorite freshly baked bread or pastry in it. Of course, Italians enjoy the same thing we do, fruits, granola, pancakes, English breakfast, but what I’m about to show you are few of the must try Italian breakfasts-slash-desserts.
Top Italian Breakfast:
This soft and light dough filled with Italian pastry cream and rolled in sugar is literally heaven on Earth. The airiness of the bread compliments the sweet and creaminess of the pastry cream. A perfect start to your day.
Bomboloni, in English, translates to “Big Bombs” which is very fitting because when you bite into the generously-filled doughnut, the filling oozes out. Aside from plain vanilla cream, you can put different flavors in the pastry cream like something chocolatey, fruity or even liqueurs like limoncello.
If you are attempting to make one yourself, make sure to use half Italian 00 flour and half strong bread flour. This keeps the dough light and bouncy, a perfect home for a delicate cream filling.
A crostata is a rustic tart from Italy filled with fruit preserves like apricot, cherry, peach or berries. There is also a savory type of crostata filling which may be meat, fish, vegetables and other kinds of seafood.
The crust is flaky and buttery, topped with the filling that has a chunky inconsistent texture, and then topped with and open lattice or something that lets the tart reflect its personality—open and rustic.
The Tozzetti is twice baked to remove the moisture and ensure its crispiness when you bite into it. Known to be best dipped in coffee (or wine for snack time) to soften it a little and absorb the flavor. Aside from the crisp from the bread itself, the almonds and hazelnuts mixed in it add texture to it.
Tip when making it yourself, lightly toast the nuts on a baking sheet for 7 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit to bring out a more complex flavor from the nuts before mixing them in the dough. Your palate will thank you later. Also, cut the bread with a sharp serrated knife before baking it the second time.
Seni delle Suore
These great breakfast items in Italy actually have a funny name. Its literal translation is “breasts of the nun”. Legend says that some nuns of the monastery of the Poor Clares of Guardiagrele used to bake these sweets and then insert them in between their breasts hence, the name.
Others say that it is shaped after the mountain massifs of Arbuzzo, in the province of Chieti, where it was first prepared. It is a soft and fluffy sponge cake with Chantilly cream in between. Can you imagine how delightful the feel and taste of it?
The typical Italian Christmas breakfast is nougat called Torrone. It is made of egg whites, honey and sugar and almonds which form the common base for all types with the possible addition of walnuts, peanuts, toasted hazelnuts and pistachios.
It has a variety of consistency and appearances but they all have the same base ingredients. Some regions may either make theirs really hard and crunchy or soft and chewy. Either way, it is definitely a treat not just for breakfast during Christmas season; but anytime of the day, all year round.
For those who don’t eat breakfast, was I successful in converting you to a morning person because of these treats? Er, breakfast? Let us know in the comments below what your favorite breakfast food is. Till then, Buon Apptito!