Quarrata | Hot Chocolate

That the Tuscans do wine so well is hardly surprising. More remarkable are the Super Tuscans in the world of chocolate, emerging from the area around PisaPistoia and Prato.

The recipe for distinction in the case of La Molina seems to be a solid family tradition in confectionery, a passion for chocolate seasoned with lots of imagination, and canny marketing strategies. The result, needless to say, is irresistable.

At Quarrata, just a stone’s throw from Pistoia, Riccardo and Massimiliano Lunardi took over their father’s bakery. Massimiliano perfected the baking, while Riccardo devoted himself to chocolate. Alongside the more predictable if top-grade bars and thins of pure chocolate selected by origin or with varying percentages of cocoa, La Molina is betting on milk chocolate making a comeback. Honouring the aromas of the Tuscan culinary tradition, it combines chocolate with rosemary, sage and wild fennelBilberries from the Tuscan mountains are used in fruit pralines. And Massimiliano bakes mouthwatering chocolate cantuccini among other delights.

If the goods are delectable, the packaging is exquisite. La Molinabelieves in seducing its customers, and taking good care of them and of its image out there on the market. Alessandro Paiano and Riccardo Fattore are responsible for this branch of the business, and they’ve come up with an original take-away meal concept, as well as a Pinocchiotheme and gorgeous Christmas and Easter packs. Take a look at the ravishing 2011 Easter eggs!

One of the latest ideas is a collaboration with New-York-based artist Rita Lintz to create a collection of edible art: beautiful chocolates called Fringes with La Molina‘s trademark unusual taste combinations, including salt and millet. Even before you taste them, a feast for the eyes….