What's Fabulous: Romanengo Candy
Fruit Fondants From Genoa
Pietro Romanengo has been making candied fruits, fondants, chocolates, dragées, bonbons and preserves in Genoa since the 18th century. Made in the oldest candy factory in the world, Romanengo's recipes combine the essence and flavors of fruits and flowers into sugar and chocolate, using methods that few confectioners even know, let alone still practice.
Because they are artisanal, imported, and fragile, these candies can be costly, but for those of us who crave these subtle and sophticated sweets, an occasional splurge is rationalized. While these traditional Italian candies are popular and easier to find throughout Europe, they are a rarity to find in the U.S.
Formaggio Essex, in the Essex Market on Manhattan's Lower East Side, now carries one line of Romanengo's candies. These are fondants, small pieces of acutely tender and intense sweetness, with an almost imperceptible surface of grainy sugar. The flavors are like perfume, including pear, apricot, banana, lemon, strawberry, mint and licorice. Each is wrapped in paper, tipping you off as to its flavor, and giving you the last moment of anticipation as you unwrap it.
Pietro Romanengo fu Stefano Caramelle Fondants. $22.95 for 250 grams.