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Italy has got it all: unforgettable scenery, fascinating history, amazing pastas and some of the best desserts on the planet. So what desserts should be you on the lookout for when you visit the Old Country?
Gelato is an obvious choice but don't overlook the great diversity Italy has to offer. Every region makes use of its local ingredients but desserts also vary by season (for instance, don't expect to see panettone year round).
Here we offer a look at some of the best Italian desserts we've been lucky enough to sample along with recipes that you can have fun with in the kitchen.
Any mention of Italy brings to mind images of gelato but you shouldn't miss the opportunity to try granita. Originally from Sicily, granita is a type of slushy that comes in flavors like lemon, lime, watermelon and even coffee.
Granita is one of the best Italian desserts to eat on a hot day. Making them is half the fun. All that is required is preparing a syrup that will be cooled, frozen and scraped to obtain that trademark snowy texture. You can try these recipes:
Tiramisu: The Perennial Favorite
This classic Italian dessert may sound passé but the truth is that is delicious time and again. It is especially satisfying to prepare it at home where your guests will be impressed when you bring out this beauty.
This traditional Italian dessert hails from Naples. Baba is a yeasted cake baked in a special mold and soaked in limoncello to make it extra luscious.
Cantucci are Tuscan biscuits typically flavored with almonds and dipped into dessert wine. This cantucci recipe features a hint of orange zest and vanilla.
Tuscan panforte is another favorite but this dessert is a type of sweet bread made with nuts, spices, dried fruit, honey and chocolate. A special treat to be enjoyed during the Christmas holidays.
A list of best Italian desserts wouldn't be complete without a mention of panna cotta, a creamy chilled dessert bursting with vanilla flavor. Panna cotta is often served with fresh fruit and sauce to enhance the dessert experience.
Here are some panna cotta recipes you must try.