** NEW: Pasticceria Penso — The Best Bakery in Trieste Italy (Free Italy Travel Advice) **

This
is an excerpt from the longer article
href=”http://www.dreamofitaly.com/members/800.cfm”>Eat
Your Way Through The Friuli–Venezia Giulia Region of Italy style=”font-style: italic;”> which appeared in the
September 2010 issue of href=”http://www.dreamofitaly.com/public/10.cfm”>Dream
of Italy style=”font-style: italic;”>:

|image1|My fondest memory of style=”font-style: italic;”>Trieste
will always be the day I first stepped into href=”http://www.pasticceriapenso.com” target=”_blank”>Pasticceria
Penso. My timing seems
predestined — I arrived on a blustery February morning just as a few
dozen chocolate cakes were being pulled from the oven. I was
immediately invited back into the cozy kitchen to watch their
transformation into style=”font-style: italic;”>Torta Sacher.

The patriarch of the family-run bakery, style=”font-style: italic;”>Italo Stoppar,
doused each layer of cake with style=”font-style: italic;”>Maraschino
liqueur, then spread on a thick coat of apricot preserves. His son
Antonello drizzled the top with dark chocolate ganache, which was soon
followed by a garnish of chocolate sprinkles around the sides. This was
just the first of many such mornings; the next year, I arranged for an
apartment across the street, so that I could spend countless hours
observing their techniques—and sampling every cream-stuffed,
chocolate-glazed, fruit-filled morsel I could possibly devour.

The bakery was founded in 1920 by Trieste native style=”font-style: italic;”>Narciso Penso.
When he died in 1971, the store was bought by one of his young
employees, Italo Stoppar, who had begun working at Penso in the 1960s
after a stint as a pastry chef on the cruise ship style=”font-style: italic;”>Lloyd Triestino.

Today, as Stoppar passes on
the trade to his two sons, style=”font-style: italic;”>Lorenzo
and Antonello,
Pasticceria Penso is truly a family business. Brother-in-law style=”font-style: italic;”>Giovanni
also helps out in the kitchen, while Italo’s wife, style=”font-style: italic;”> Rosanna,
and Giovanni’s wife, style=”font-style: italic;”>Silvana,
tend to customers. The mood is light, the kitchen functioning like a
well-choreographed ballet, each person silently knowing everyone else’s
next move.

Italo’s role is both slicer and icer. He can usually be seen preparing
the layered cakes and jelly rolls — slicing the cakes into layers,
spreading them with buttercream frosting, whipped cream, ganache, or
caramel, and finally slicing the sheet cakes into the proper
rectangular serving size. His steady hand also garnishes birthday cakes
with whipped cream flowers and flourishes, piping special messages in
chocolate icing.

|image2|Lorenzo is in charge of dough, filling tartlet pans with crostata crust
and rolling puff pastry for strudel. Antonello handles a little of
everything, from applying fruit garnishes to measuring and mixing cake
batter, from sorting and grinding almonds for marzipan to melting
chocolate for ganache.

True to Trieste’s multiethnic roots, Pasticceria Penso specializes in
the pastries from Austria and Hungary, such as the ever-popular Sacher
and Dobos cakes, as well as the ubiquitous local desserts style=”font-style: italic;”>presnitz, putizza
and pinza.
In all, they make around thirty-five different types of pastries,
cakes, and cookies, which are purchased by locals for both special
anniversary celebrations and as a Sunday post-church ritual. The
sturdier pastries are also shipped to clients throughout Europe, the
United States, and Australia.

In a city that clings to heritage and tradition, Pasticceria Penso is
surprisingly one of just a few surviving bakeries from its era. The
quality of their product is surely what has kept Penso in business for
so many years. They use only butter — unlike many modern bakeries that
rely on margarine to prolong shelf life — and always top-quality
ingredients, from the richest, darkest baking chocolate to the
Bulgarian rose oil that flavors the pink fave dei morti cookies. Their
key to success is perhaps identical to the inherent nature of Trieste
itself — classic Viennese precision combined with pure Italian
passion.

The
Details: 
Pasticerria
Penso – Via A. Diaz, 11; Trieste; (39) 040 301530 style=”text-decoration: underline;”> href=”http://www.pasticceriapenso.com” target=”_blank”>;
www.pasticceriapenso.com; Closed
Monday


Elisabeth Antoine Crawford


Instilled
with a lifelong passion for Italy, Elisabeth Antoine Crawford chose to
explore the cuisine of Friuli–Venezia Giulia and write
href=”http://bit.ly/bkPr2P” target=”_blank”>Flavors
of Friuli: A Culinary Journey Through Northeastern Italy style=”font-style: italic;”> after being
seduced by her first Friulian dinner of frico and cjarsòns.
A former modern dancer and Pilates instructor, she is also the author
of Balance on the Ball:
Exercises Inspired by the Teachings of Joseph Pilates style=”font-style: italic;”>. She lives in San
Francisco with her husband, Michael, and son, David. Visit her Web site
at www.flavorsoffriuli.com