There is something so civilized about a city, its citizens and/or its numerous tourists, that 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 dozens of types of candied almonds (confetti), marzipans, hard candies, chocolates, cookies, etc. No packaged M&Mâ€™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, etcâ€¦
Iâ€™m not really sure what the difference is between a European Sweets Shop and say, a North American oneâ€¦but it seems so much more â€œclassyâ€ in Europeâ€¦ 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 shopâ€¦ That is definitely not the feeling you get at say a Dylanâ€™s which is one of New Yorkâ€™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 appointmentâ€¦so civilized indeed.