Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sugar Cream and Caffe Brasiliano

The Espresso Break:  In many cafe-bars throughout Naples, baristas ask if you'd like to have a spot of zucchero-crema (sugar-cream) in your cup.  If you say yes, they daub a teaspoon of the fluffy concoction in a demitasse (tazzino), then put the cup under the espresso maker.

At the famous Moccia Caffe they gave me the recipe:

1 1/2 kilograms of granulated sugar
20 shots of espresso
Blend together in a mixer until you have a frothy tan cream.

Sugar-cream adds a sweet-syrupy taste to the espresso.  It also means that you have to stir a long time before taking that ever-satisfying coffee gulp.

Moccia is located along a narrow street several blocks from the Bay of Naples and one block away from the modern art museum, PAN.  The name of the cafe itself hearkens back to coffee's international history.  Coffee was first used for its medicinal value in Ethiopia and soon spread to Yemen where Sufi mystics used the brew.  For many centuries the port of Mocha in Yemen exported coffee throughout the Middle East until merchants brought it to Venice in the early 1600's.

Today, coffee beans are cultivated worldwide, including Southeast Asia, Hawaii, Africa, and South America -- most notably Brazil.

In Naples, a reigning favorite coffee beverage is the Caffe Brasiliano.  A small glass cup is filled first with an espresso shot.  A half a teaspoon of cacao is sprinkled on the shot as well as zucchero-crema.  Next milk foam, made with whole milk and foamed only until silky, is poured to the rim of the cup.  At last, some cacao is sprinkled on the foam.

Filli Romano
dal 1920
Via San Pasquale a Chiaia, 21/22
80121 Napoli


Gil said...

I've seen those drinks being made and consumed, now I know what they are called. Love your pictures, especially the dolci display!

Barbara said...

Thanks, Gil. I think zucchero-crema is one of the most delectable parts of caffe culture in Naples. Mmmmm. Saluti!

Mirella Sichirollo Patzer said...

Oh Barbara, thanks for posting this. I once met a lady who immigrated from Naples who made me this. And I could never copy it. Now, you've given me the recipe and I'm dancing for joy.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for leaving the comment on the Mangiamaccheroni. If you google Mangiamaccheroni under Google Images, you will find several such postcards from Naples. I love them too.

I'm excited to have discovered your blog and have subscribed.


Anonymous said...

YUM! This article makes me want to come to Naples right NOW! Thank you. Melinda

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