A Sweet for life

cassata siciliana from palermo

Sweets from Italy

Whoever is visiting Italy immediately notices very different landscapes, climates and perfumes. All the Italian regions, from those near the Alps to Sicily, offer an unmissable variety of foods and flavours. This is the reason why the Italian cuisine changes from region to region, offering very different dishes….. and sweets too. Italy is a perfect country for gourmands, but it also has a beating heart, as the event we talk about in this article shows.


When a sweet helps children with cancer

“A sweet for life” is sponsored by the Piedmont Region and raises funds for UGI – Union of Italian Parents against cancer in childhood, a non-profit association. Every year since 1998 a thematic cooking day is held to help children with this kind of disease. UGI was born thanks to the initiative of a group of parents whose children were suffering from cancer, with the aim of offering other parents a permanent support during the cares and creating playing and educational activities for children. This is why the association raises funds and trains volunteers to aid these young patients. But it also give assistance to parents following their children along the difficult path of recovery. Finally, it helps economically the research and keep alive the public awareness. What better way to raise funds than to offer sweets and cakes? And all this happens involving the future pastry chefs! If everybody consider this as a precious opportunity to taste delicacies, nobody will forget to help children fighting against cancer (https://www.ugi-torino.it).

wallpaper cakes

Italian schools working as a network

A modern school specialized in hotel services in Turin, the G. Colombatto Istitute, hosts this happening every year, created by Professor Ferrua (a school teacher) many years ago. Good habits & Quality foods has decided to tell the social side of the day, but also the culinary one. The school trains specialists in a series of skilled jobs: cooks, waiters, dining room staff and professionals highly specialized in various services. At the entrance, we immediately noticed the approach of young students in charge of welcoming guests…maybe you will find these boys and girls in the best hotels in Italy and abroad in a few years. Then we immersed ourselves in a joyful atmosphere, where we tasted many specialties (and bought several). We had a quick passage through the kitchens, where the students (who are 14 -18 years old) were busy: they were producing the last sweets of the day. Kitchen is always a magic place, and we saw people working with passion. After greeting Professor Boero, we began a long tour into the hall adjoining the bar, set up for the occasion. This is the strength of the network: 2 other schools from southern Italy were invited to the event: the P. Borsellino Institute from Palermo and the F. Morano Institute from Caivano, near Naples. What about the result? Geographically distant regions presented different cakes, sweets and desserts, but they were all superfine and made in the traditional way for an excellent quality.

Cakes and desserts from Palermo

cannoli sweets from sicily

Very attractive, as always, the Sicilian pastry! There were all the masterpieces: from almond pastries to traditional sweet cassata. And the famous cannoli, filled with ricotta, could not be missed. The aromas of citrus fruits have projected us into the Sicilian spring, full of colors and blooms. If you don’t believe these words, try taking a trip to Sicily in the months of April or May, you will avoid the summer heat and find fewer tourists, but you will see a flowery region with authentic fragrances. It seems incredible but the passion for making sweets and offering them to visitors was overflowing, and everybody was happy to queue up for a good proposal.

Only delicacies from Naplespastiera cake from naples

The tour continued towards a large pot in which the Babà (typical sweet from Naples and its region) are put to soak in… .. a special mixture that we will not reveal you (you will taste them in your next trip to Naples). Then the Babàs are partially drained to have the right consistency on the palate. If you haven’t done it yet, we suggest you try the Neapolitan Pastiera cake: a classic of southern Italian pastry, a cake that often shares the best shop windows with Caprese cake (which in this case does not indicate the salad often present in many restaurant’s menu) but a sweet made of chocolate, almonds and covered with icing sugar. If we had been at lunch, a small glass of limoncello liquor would have been missed to end, but our tour went on beyond.

Cake with chocolate and pears from torino

A day against cancer in Turin, a city for food fresh fruit cake

The students of the hosting school, G. Colombatto Istitute in Turin, living among the Alps and the Langhe hills, offered various kinds of biscuits and dry pastries. Among these specialties we found the famous “baci di dama” – dame’s kisses –  (hazelnut pastry rounded biscuits stacked with a layer of chocolate in the middle). These were among the favorite sweets by the Royal house of Savoy till the king’s family lived in Turin. The hazelnut cake, made with Tonda Gentile hazelnuts from the Langhe area and the cake with chocolate and pears represented Piedmont, alongside more classic tarts and delicious cakes with fresh berries.pastries dame's kisses, baci di dama from turin

The proceeds of the day were donated for a good reason. We can say that the strength of Turin is the ability to attract events and people thanks to the culinary topic, suspended between science and art.

As for the future of these students, thanks to this exchange model, they will become ambassadors of the best Italian cuisine in the world and our blog Good habits & Qualitiy foods is with them.

Giorgio BarberoCooking Institute in Italy


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