Breakfast became so much more fun when I married my love. You see Italians eat sweets for colazione (breakfast). Or at least they are much more likely to eat i dolci for breakfast than at any other time of the day. Nutella is always heavily stocked in our pantry, and much to the delight of my older kids, my husband was fine with them eating torta (cake) for their first meal of the day and the littles eat pane (bread) and marmellata (jam) in the morning almost every day!
Three and a half years ago–when I was still being indoctrinated into the Italian lifestyle, we were in Italy visiting family. I made lemon bars and chocolate chip biscotti (cookies) for dessert for my in-laws and extended family for dinner. It was a surprise. It took extra work because of the need to find certain ingredients and my lack of knowledge of the Italian language and also measuring cups and instruments! Dinner was amazing and when we were finished I brought out the platters with the American delights so excited to share with them a “real” American treat.
When I unveiled the dessert bars, almost every adult looked at them curiously, and then said, oh those look nice, I will eat that tomorrow for breakfast! I was honestly offended and a bit disheartened. I had not expected this reaction! We Americans all know that cookies and lemon bars are best eaten the first day. I wanted them to try my baking skills at the peak of crispy amazingness, not the next day when they had lost their edge.
But, many could not be convinced! I learned a lesson that evening. If I want to bake an American dessert, do it early in the morning and surprise everyone for colazione. Don’t ever expect anyone to eat your dessert after dinner unless it is a birthday or holiday–this is why Italians are thin! Also, no amount of convincing can get an Italian to eat an American dessert or any dessert after dinner if it appears to be something that only belongs on their breakfast menu!
I can’t wait to share with you what I have been eating for breakfast the past 5 days! Lemon Ricotta Ciambellone (large donut–bundt cake) with a delightful lemon glaze.