06 Jul2006

Da Scudieri, Florence

by Marketman

scud1

There is something so civilized about a city, its citizens and/or its numerous tourists, scud2that is able to support not one, but several fantastic candy/chocolate/sweets shops. Da Scudieri, on a highly visible street corner near the Duomo, is one such shop. We happened to pass by its attractive windows two or three times and the lure of sugar in dozens of different guises was just too much to resist. We saw some spectacular marzipan (almond paste) candies in the windows in the form of mushrooms, fruits, etc. as well as a huge tray of chocolate dipped citrus/orange peels so we decided to get some of the latter (just a 100 grams please…).

Inside the store was a selection of sweets was quite impressive, with scud3dozens of types of candied almonds (confetti), marzipans, hard candies, chocolates, cookies, etc. No packaged M&M’s in this joint! They also had candied violets (the photo up top) that I use to decorate sophisticated desserts like a warm chocolate tart from a Payard recipe, or things to be served on special occasions. Though the prices were wickedly expensive, the stuff was of a very high quality. We escaped with just two little bags, one of candied violets and another of orange peels. Had we stayed any longer we would have also picked up a few marzipan, perhaps some cookies, etc…

I’m not really sure what the difference is between a European Sweets Shop and say, a North scud4American one…but it seems so much more “classy” in Europe… the selections are still in glass cases, the hard candies in nice big glass jars, the colors more muted rather than screaming primary colors! And the shapes still more organic, hand made and charming. The staff also seem so much more into the goodies on offer; as though they have spent a lifetime in the shop… That is definitely not the feeling you get at say a Dylan’s which is one of New York’s hottest candy stores. And there isn’t a single shop in Manila that comes even close to the European examples. Finally, what really amazed me in Florence was that locals would buy just 1 or 2 pieces of a confection, savor the item(s) on the spot before they hurry back to their office or onwards to their next appointment…so civilized indeed.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Lou says:

    The Italians fully know that what is good for the lips maybe bad for the hips; and oh boy, those hips say a lot about their eating habits. Marzipans are great to eat as is. The taste of almond is simply delicious.

    Jul 6, 2006 | 3:28 pm

     
  2. Maricel says:

    Looks exactly as I would imagine the sweet shops described in Enid Blyton’s fairy tales!

    Jul 6, 2006 | 9:05 pm

     
  3. CWID says:

    MM, your pictures are always lovely to look at. I wish that I could enlarge them by just clicking on them. Anyway, those marzipan fruits are soooo sweet, one bite could put you into a diabetic shock immediately. I was sent a package of those from the States–can’t remember if they were US made or not—and we just took a couple of bites and the rest just wasted away.

    Jul 7, 2006 | 10:16 am

     
  4. Chocoholic says:

    Looks delicious. I look forward to your future posts.

    Jul 8, 2006 | 3:46 am

     
  5. fried-neurons says:

    Never much of a fan of marzipan here. I just don’t like the way it tastes. But I have to admit those marzipan desserts look spectacular!!!

    Jul 8, 2006 | 4:55 am

     
  6. Marketman says:

    fried neurons, I have to agree with you on marzipan. I always try them when I see them but the taste is just too overwhelming… I wonder if they will eventually grow on me…

    Jul 8, 2006 | 5:47 am

     
  7. millet says:

    the almond flavor of marzipan can taste like medicine sometimes. a tastier alternative to the marzipan fruits is the tiny fruits that the thais make out- maybe out of rice flour, with sweetened mung bean paste inside. they’re tiny “fruits” that look so real. i forget what they’re called. they used to be available everywhere, even in 7-11 outlets in Bangkok. but the last time i was there, we searched everywhere and asked, but did not find any. i finally gave up, but lo and behold, in the airport pre-departure area, there was a store selling them in plastic packs. definitely a lot more delicious than marzipan, and just as good-looking.

    Jul 9, 2006 | 8:44 pm

     
 

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