Italian Sweet Spreads

Do you have a serious sweet tooth? Then any from Nonna Box’s array of Italian sweet spreads will be a great choice for you. Just imagine a chocolate or hazelnut, or a combo of both spreads on top of toasts or any Italian pastry. The very image will probably give you serious hunger pangs. Right?

Luscious Hazelnut Spread

How does a jar of hazelnut spread bring out such happy smiles to people’s faces? Let’s examine this lusciously decadent Italian sweet spread, shall we?

Hazelnut is actually a nut of the hazel tree. And there are about 14 to 18 species of hazel trees that are actually spread out all over the globe. The hazelnut ripens about seven to eight months after the flowers are pollinated. When it becomes ripe, the edible part, which is the seed, is then roasted and ground. The process is actually something similar to what is done to the seeds of the cacao tree, which is where chocolate comes from.

The paste from the ground roasted hazelnut is combined with sugar and cocoa solids. And you get a jar of superbly decadent sweet spread. You can spread it on toasts, crackers, or slices of Italian bread. You may even spread it on crepes and serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of yummy vanilla ice cream.

Hazelnut is used not only used in making Italian sweet spreads but also in other confections such as praline, liqueur, and oil. Combined with chocolate, it is also used to make yummy chocolate truffles.

Other Italian Sweet Spreads

There are also Italian sweet spreads made with other nuts such as almonds or pistachios. A Sicilian sweet spread that looks yellow green in color, it has a nutty flavor and a creamy texture. You can put it as topping to toasts and all kinds of bread. And if you want to be particularly adventurous, you can also use it as filling for crepes, frosting to cupcakes, or a sweet dip for bread sticks. You may even use it as filling for cannoli, topped with some bits crushed pistachios. Or as layers to your own version of Pistachio Tiramisu.

There are also sweet spreads that are a combination of ingredients that may, or may not, have honey, ricotta cheese, or red peppers. Some berries and grape varieties may also be made into jams, jellies, or preserves. Now, these can be used as filing to pies, cakes, and all kinds of pastries.

Or if you prefer fruity flavors, there’s also another range of Italian sweet spreads available called marmellata made with sugar and citrus fruits or various kinds of berries. Italian fruit jams called marmellata are great not only on toasts for breakfast and coffee breaks, but also as filling for those pies for dessert, to cap off your dinner.

The possibilities are certainly endless when you have jars of delicious spreads, limitless imagination, and a ravenous sweet tooth to satisfy.

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