Mmm … Easter

To Valzani'sEaster eating in Jamaica is not very exciting. The traditional Jamaican speciality of bun and cheese pales in comparison with the orgies of chocolate we’ve known elsewhere.

In Rome, one of our favourite shops was Valzani’s pasticceria (confectioner’s), which alone justified a walk over the river (Trastevere). The street and the shop itself were very unprepossessing, but once inside there was no denying you were somewhere special. Their handmade chocolates were laid out like exquisite gems and included a wicked chili-flavoured truffle. We usually limited ourselves to their perfect meringues – crunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle. (‘Scuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard.)

At Easter, they made a giant chocolate Easter egg, so big that Signor Valzani had to stand on a stool to decorate it while we stared agog.

On the walls hung faded photos of Valzani’s previous works of art, including a model of ancient Rome sculpted out of sugar.

This is a photo of one of Valzani’s giant Easter eggs, circa 1974, judging by the hair style.

Mmmm ... Easter

Bad Friday

I passed a woman in the street this evening. She was quite heavily built, in her 40s, wearing a shapeless skirt and flowery blouse with a crumpled collar. She had put down her bulging bags of shopping and was leaning wearily against a wall, with an air of complete dejection, her face hidden in the crook of her arm. I overhead her talking on the phone.

No, I can’t.

I just can’t!!

I’m covered in chocolate and stuff!

I turned back and stared.

She wasn’t.