Italians go mad for Anglo-American cupcakes

Tue Feb 3, 2009 6:48am EST
 
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By Eliza Apperly

ROME (Reuters Life!) - The notorious pride in their national cuisine has not prevented a diminutive foreign delicacy from conquering Italian taste buds -- all hail the cupcake.

From do-it-yourself culinary websites to specialist shops, a growing number of Italians are catering to the growing taste for the miniature decorated sponge cakes popular in Britain and the United States.

One Roman establishment championing the trend is Josephine's Bakery, in Rome's cobbled historic center in the aptly named Piazza del Paradiso.

Opened four years ago by London-born former model Josephine Scorer, it specializes in non-Italian patisserie and among the pastries from New York, France and Eastern Europe sit dainty little cupcakes at 2.50 euros ($3.22) apiece.

Sometimes confused by locals for muffins, the cupcakes are decorated with the bakery's trademark iced flowers.

Optician by day, Rita Buzzacchi dedicates her spare time to British-style patisserie. Her website www.latavoladirita.it includes detailed cupcake recipes and effusive write-ups.

"Cupcakes. Che Passione!!" the site declares. Since starting up her website three years ago, Buzzacchi has seen interest grow in the delicacy also known in Britain as fairy cakes.

In style-conscious Italy, cupcakes appeal to more than just the taste-buds, she said, with their suggestion of childhood, fairy tales and the old-fashioned English tea room.   Continued...

 
<p>Carrot cupcakes are seen at Josephine's Bakery in Rome January 30, 2009. The notorious pride in their national cuisine has not prevented a diminutive foreign delicacy from conquering Italian taste buds -- all hail the cupcake. From do-it-yourself culinary websites to specialist shops, a growing number of Italians are catering to the growing taste for the miniature decorated sponge cakes popular in Britain and the United States. Picture taken January 30, 2009. To To match Reuters-Life! ITALY-CUPCAKES/ REUTERS/Chris Helgren</p>