Baci in Bulk

15 Jan

Baci and Baci Bianco

A bowlful of Baci – classic Baci (silver) and Baci Bianco (navy)

Bulk Barn is fast becoming one of my favourite stores in Canada, simply because it has such an amazing range of ingredients and cake making supplies.  For example, I was pretty sceptical that I’d be able to find the chopped apricots I like with my cereal in the morning but there they were at Bulk Barn.  It has endless types of dried fruit, nuts and grains and just about every type of baking tin and cookie cutter you could imagine.  Coupled with the fact that you can buy just the amount of an ingredient you need for whatever culinary project you’re undertaking and my only sadness is that there aren’t more in downtown Toronto (although I do think that the addition of some weighing scales so that you could check how much you had of any one ingredient before taking it to the till would be fantastic)

Baci in Bulk Barn

Baci in bulk at Bulk Barn

My latest discovery is that Bulk Barn stock Baci, the chocolates made by the Italian firm Perugina.  These chocolates, literally ‘little kisses’ in Italian, have long been some of my favourite; many a trip to Italy has seen me return with a few bagfuls.  Wrapped in an elegant silver foil wrapper with their name amidst a pattern of stars printed in navy blue, a big part of the appeal is that they’re a hazelnut flavoured chocolate; they have a nocchiatella centre, topped by a whole roasted hazelnut and then enveloped in dark chocolate.  But it’s the inclusion of the charming mottos, or love notes, as the Baci webpage calls them, which makes them so special.  Each motto is a famous quotation on the subject of love, translated into about four different languages; perfect for practising sweet nothings to take you around the globe, or at least Europe.

Baci+3

I hadn’t really thought about the history of Baci but it turns out that were created in 1922 when Luisa Spagnoli of Perugina (the company was founded some 15 years earlier) needed to find a way of using hazlenuts that had been left over from producing another product.  The love notes made their appearance in the 1930s, designed to encourage people to give Baci as a romantic gift.  You can read more of the love notes fascinating history on the Baci web page.  The distinctive packaging was created in the same decade, inspired by Francesco Hayez’s 1859 painting Il Bacio (Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan).

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Francesco Hayez’s 1859 painting Il Bacio.  It was a given a bit of a 20th century make over for the Baci image, to appeal to a cinema going consumer

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The Baci website also includes a recipe for a heart shape Baci cake, which uses hazelnut flour and plenty of chocolate, before decorating with Baci.  Baci make great cake decorations, especially for a silver wedding anniversary when you can decorate the cake with 25 silver wrapped kisses!  We also added a Bacio to each of our wedding favours, in amongst the sugar almonds (I’m not sure Mr Kim noticed this but it pleased me) But you can also get white Baci (also stocked by Bulk Barn) which are wrapped in navy foil with silver stars, and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner maybe I need to try out my own version of the Baci heart cake.      bacioperugina  perugina-4

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