Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Caffe Morocco

When I ask Italians about the shopping mall (
il centro commerciale), they immediately say they can't stand it.  They prefer to walk an open market where vegetables, seafood, and clothing come at great prices.  They also prefer small shops to chain stores.

And yet, every evening and every weekend the shopping malls in the suburbs of Naples teem with people.  The parking lots are full, people push through crowds outside stores, and the food courts draw families and teenagers to eat at McDonald's or at the chain restaurant Fratelli La Bufala.  You can find movie theaters as well as snazzy chain clothing stores like the Spanish Zara.  The French-owned grocery stores Auchan and Carrefour are versions of Walmart with electronics, music, books, toys, clothes, beauty products, and gourmet foods.

All this glitz has also given rise to excellent caffe.

At the mall in the suburb town of Guigliano, a caffe bar called Lino's Coffee  has an array of proprietary drinks.  The Morocco is my favorite, made with a teaspoon of cocoa powder, a layer of espresso, a layer of flavored chocolate syrup, a layer of milk foam and then -- optionally -- a dollop of whipping cream with or without chocolate powder on top.  Once you get the drink, preferably al banco (or at the bar), you must spend a good amount of time stirring until all the ingredients are mixed together.  Therafter, three or four gulps are enough.

Don't forget to use the water they always give you on the side.  You can ask for either natural or frizzante (carbonated) water.  Drink the water before and after the caffe in order to clean the palette.



Learn Italian said...

Hi Barbara, great blog! Kim from sent you an email. Let me know when you get a chance to read. Thx!

Anonymous said...

i go to carre- four to get my dose of "America"...I know its a french based store but i don't care. Sometimes its nice to browse in the large stores in peace whereas in the mom pop variety small shops its always "diem mi" or "posso lo aiuto". I love love love the huge parkinglots i miss so much. and the peanut butter at carrefour i can't seem to find aanywhere else even though it's 5 euro for a really small jar. I haven't been to auchan yet. But the outdoor markets are great here in Italy. Stellina

Peter @ italyMONDO! said...

"And yet, every evening and every weekend the shopping malls in the suburbs of Naples teem with people."

...Ironic, isn't it? I've had the same experience!

As for the "Morocco" - I always find myself ordering a "Morocchino" when I'm looking for a change-of-pace :-)

Barbara Zaragoza said...

Hi Stellina! Good to hear from you. You found peanut butter?? I'm going to have to find it. I've switched to Nutella since I've been here... but a little peanut butter would indeed be nice, now that you've pointed it out. Mmmm.

Hi Peter -- I'm going to have to find the 'Morocchino' now! Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

I thought they would have a nice on base grocery store stocked with american goodies like bbq sauce , peanut butter, maple syrup, ect. No such store on your military base?

Barbara Zaragoza said...

Hi Stellina,

Okay -- you caught me. It's true. There is a well-stocked grocery store on the military base with not only BBQ sauce, maple syrup, and peanut butter, but there's also an Asian and Mexican aisle for tacos and pancit/sweet & sour sauce/peanut sauce, etc. I can also buy American bacon.

But I want the Italian experience, so I shy away from the store as much as possible and explore the open markets and grocery stores out in town. Now I'm curious about peanut butter sold at the Carrefour because I wonder if it's different from Skippy?

Stellina said...

yeah the peanutbutter in Carrefour IS the skippy brand in a tiny jar it's next to the nutella usually. I miss making peanut butter cookies.You're killing me with the AMERICAN BACON...gggrrrrr!!!! Pancetta is the next best thing here and it's good, we actually make it here on the farm but not the same with eggs or biscuits and gravy.