Today is the last day of Carnevale, and we only remembered because the local bakery guilted us into getting some of the traditional desserts yesterday, arguing that it’d be the last time until next year. It seems like it’s been almost too long since the Carnevale season started and confetti (called cilantro in Italian because apparently before paper, they’d throw real cilantro seeds at each other) littered the ground almost everywhere through the center.
Sara guilted us into getting a piece of Schiacciata alla Fiorentina – which is cake rather than schiacciata bread and is decorated with a stenciled Florentine Lily in powdered sugar or chocolate. Sometimes, it’s layers of thin bread with cream in the center – you’ll see these cakes displayed in the gleaming glass windows of the coffee shops downtown. At Sara’s yesterday, it was thick instead and anything other than dry (a miracle for most Italian desserts – GO SARA) – even without the layers of “frosting” and instead had hints of orange zest. We didn’t regret getting it.
The other dessert I couldn’t tell you the name – it’s a more southern tradition, but they were little balls of fried chickpea dough all piled up in a cupcake paper, covered in honey and multicolored sprinkles. I was sold on that one from the beginning, but after a description, Rami got one too.
Perfectly wrapped in individual paper bags, we left and walked home through the park. A few couples sat on the benches in the lamplight. I was ecstatic to see a group of kids playing a game sort of like tag – no cellphones in sight.
Today is called Fat Tuesday here and there were the last celebrations. Florence isn’t entirely huge on big fanfares around this time, but I’ll miss the sweets and the cilantro all over the ground. Soon, the chocolate Easter eggs will be popping up in the stores, and the next round of festivities will begin.