Our monthly Italy Blogging Roundtable takes on the theme of “sweet” this month! Take a look at posts by Kate Bailward, Jessica Spiegel, Melanie Renzulli, Alexandra Korey, Gloria, and Michelle Fabio. (If you missed the previous months, take a look here.) Welcome back to our table…come pull up a chair and join in on the conversation.
Paolo is a bit of a modern Renaissance man, if by “Renaissance” one intends beer-brewing aerospace engineers with a talent for photography, a passion for grunge, and a mouth that would shame an Irish sailor. He’s also a man-about-the-kitchen, and when I stopped by his darkroom the other day to irritate him with my amateur questions, wildly off exposure times, and tendency to drip caustic liquids pretty much everywhere, I rediscovered one of the simple pleasures of snacking that had slipped my mind: addormentasuocere.
My love for these simple-yet-addictive candied hazelnuts has two roots: 1. the fabulous name (addormentasuocere can be loosely translated as “mother-in-law tranquilizers”, one assumes because the act of popping them in the mother-in-law mouth prevents the mother-in-law tongue from wreaking its usual havoc) and 2. the most amazing gelato EVER that I tasted a couple of years ago on the Adriatic, that was addormentasuocere flavored. I still fantasize about it.
Paolo had a plate of his homemade addormentasuocere on hand in his darkroom, which paired well with our ice-cold Peronis and steady stream of banter. I was still thinking about them the next morning, and decided to try my hand at mixing up a batch myself for our traditional Family Christmas Movie Extravaganza. They also work well for munching during holiday card games and tombola (a bingo-like game played in Italy for New Year’s).
Here’s what you need:
- 100 grams of peeled, toasted hazelnuts
- 50 grams of sugar
- 5 T of water
I couldn’t find toasted hazelnuts, so I had to toss them in the oven on a cookie sheet for a few minutes until they turned slightly golden. Then I had to keep myself from eating them immediately, which may have been the hardest step of the entire process. Have you ever smelled freshly toasted hazelnuts? They’re pretty tempting.
Here’s how to do it:
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper where you’ll cool the candied nuts.
- Mix the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for about 6-7 minutes, until it just starts to thicken into a syrup.
- Add the nuts, stirring constantly so they don’t clump.
- Continue stirring over medium heat until the sugar coating starts to carmelize (turning a slightly darker color).
- Pour the nuts onto the prepared baking sheet and separate any that have stuck together with a fork (or, if you’re a fan of burnt fingertips, your hands).
- Let cool completely (or, if you’re a fan of burnt tongues, sample them constantly while still roughly the temperature of the sun.)
- Enjoy, with or without a Renaissance man.
Read the posts, leave comments, share them with your friends – and tune in next month for another Italy Blogging Roundtable topic!