Italy gets boiling hot in the summer. I’m talking that sort of hot where I literally bring a change of shirt to work because by the time I get to the office, it looks like somebody dumped a bucket of water over my head. I’m talking that kind of hot that when you wake up in the morning (if you were even able to sleep at all with the heat), you leave a “sweat angel” imprint of your body on the sheets.
There is one sure way to know that summer is coming and that the scorching sun is on its way to bake the hell out of this boot-shaped country: chocolate!
Now, as I’ve said before in a previous blog post, Italians have a fear of colpo d’aria and therefore are not really into air conditioning (much to my sweaty dismay). This trepidation about cold air means that stores and homes are a heck of a lot hotter than they would ever be in the good ol’ air conditioned USA. This spells melty bad news for chocolate candy bars all over Italy.
The indoor temperature in Italy climbs so high in the summertime that chocolate literally just melts on the shelves of stores and in the cupboards of people’s houses. Some chocolate brands, not wanting to see their sales come to a complete halt during the months of June, July, and August, have cleverly come out with “summer versions” of their chocolate candy.
Since I am such a dedicated blogger, I have decided to make the great sacrifice of buying (and then eating) these delicious summer sweets so that I can give you the scoop on these seasonal Italian chocolates.
Kinder Cereali (the healthy one): This bar also features milk chocolate with a milk-flavored center, only this time the toy surprise has been replaced with crunchy puffed wheat and rice (hence the name – cereali means “grains” in Italian)
Pocket Coffee (the energizing one): This one has a dark chocolate shell filled with sweet (overly, in my opinion) liquid espresso coffee (hence the name – coffee doesn’t mean anything in Italian … but means “coffee” in English)
All three of these examples have found innovative ways to replace or alter the form of the chocolate and then re-market the product with new packaging for the summer season.
Here is me with the summer versions of the Italian chocolates mentioned above.
The “warm weather” chocolates even have summer-fun names: Kinder Merendero, Kinder Cereali Summer, and Pocket Espresso To Go.
The two summery Kinder chocolate brands offer a chocolate cream with crunchy bits – basically it’s like already pre-melted chocolate – while the Pocket Coffee summer version is like a mini caffeine-enriched juice box with it’s own little straw.
While I applaud the innovation, I still find chocolate to be a strange food to eat when it’s hot outside. I prefer something like a cherry popsicle or cold cucumber salad.
What about you guys? Leave a comment telling me what summer foods help you to beat the heat!