Posted by: lisetta | September 11, 2008

Bacio gelato

I find this flavor of gelato to be uninspiring. Perugina Bacio chocolates, however, have an interesting little story, according to the Nestlé website:

PERUGINA® began as a modest confectionery in 1907 as a labor of love between Giovanni Buitoni, the young heir to Perugina, and Luisa Spagnoli, a confectioner in her own right, in the charming and ancient Umbrian hill town of Perugia in central Italy.  Their secret love inspired a passion for crafting truly indulgent chocolate, building PERUGINA into one of the most successful confectioners in Italy. Since its U.S. introduction at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, PERUGINA has become known for fine chocolate around the world.

I wonder how much the recipe has changed since Nestlé took over. While the quality of the chocolate is nothing to get excited about (imagine Hershey’s kisses gone global), the marketing works. The Italian website for Baci even has Sixpence None the Richer singing Kiss Me. These nondescript chocolates come wrapped in foil, with a love note written in several languages.

Found this picture here, from FAItango, an Italian blog about tango (which has an interesting post tonight about the courage of change. Hmm.)

Nestlé would have you believe that Perugina Bacio chocolate 

has become synonymous with the exchange of affection, a passion for life, and the sophistication so characteristic of the Italian culture. 

Do most consumers accept that as cultural currency? Probably. I, for one, would much rather use that language to describe gianduja: a smoother and richer flavor without the nuts.

Has gelato lost its appeal? Or is the season simply ending? 


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