How to Junk Food: Rome Edition

The first thing Emily and I did–even before leaving the airport–was investigate the junk food situation. We bought interesting things we hadn’t seen before, and took them back to our hotel for a taste-test.

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The chocolate bar at the top had whole hazel nuts, caramel, and some kind of marshmallowy nougat at the bottom. The picture on the package is a bit misleading–there’s not nearly that much filling; however, it was still the tastiest chocolate bar I’ve ever had.

The coconut cookies on the left were…interesting. They looked like a Snackwell’s Devil’s Food Cookie, but the outside was crunchy and crumbly, almost like a chocolate graham cracker crust. The inside was gooey and coconuty. Good flavor overall, but it was kind of an unexpected combination of flavors.

The red dummies were delicious. Emily said, like a marshmallow and a gummy had a baby and I think that’s pretty spot on. But strawberry and with a sugary coating. The sugar coating is a bit much, so one or two at a time is enough.

Now. The Smurfs. Not only were these ADORABLE, but they were the most perfectly flavored (vanilla) and softly textured marshmallow snack I’ve ever had. Melt in your mouth Smurf goodness. I want to bring some home, but I haven’t seen any since! If I come across these again, I’M BUYING 10 BAGS. Realistically, probably three.

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As you’ve perhaps seen in previous posts, Emily and I found a lot of junk food while out and about. Most of it delicious! Let’s discuss:

On our first day of touristing, we stopped by this little shop for a small pastry and got a little more than we bargained for. We were looking for a sugar fix, but…so was the cashier. You know those Italian men. (Right?) Anyway, he asked me three questions: My name, where I was from, and if I’d friend him on Facebook, haha. Then he told me my hair was pretty. Then he and the other guys started talking in Italian and who knows what they said. I bought the rum ball, and Emily bought one thousand layer bar (but got two). We were going to walk and eat, they insisted that we sit and eat. The other guy brought over the shortbread hearts. It was very kind, but a little awkward. Even so, the rum ball was perfection! Strong rum taste, but not off-putting. The thousand layer bars were sweet and flaky. The shortbread I saved and ate later in bed. Also delicious. I didn’t give the cashier my Facebook, but we did engage in some awkward small talk. He really had a thing for my hair.

We got gelato twice, and I kind of wish we’d gotten one more. But when? Two gelato in one day? Yes, that would have been okay. The pistachio was my favorite. Oh, but the cherry! The mango! And one of the gelato places had cannolis. How could I turn down a cannoli in Rome? Clearly, I didn’t. But in all honesty, Ole’s Cannoli in Minneapolis still has my heart.

There was one indulgence that we didn’t enjoy so much. While listening to this man do a stellar cover of Four Non-Blondes, “What’s Going On” we decided to try some chestnuts. They looked so delicious, roasting on an open fire. Curiosity got the best of us.

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We each tried one and threw the rest out. Emily later admitted that she spit hers out when I wasn’t looking, haha. I didn’t blame her. I swallowed mine out of some misplaced sense of obligation to the 5 euro I paid for this terrible snack. They looked like…brains and had a terrible soft crumbly texture. The flavor was not quite nutty and not really good. I don’t think I’ll fall for this again, haha. Overall, however, we were fairly successful junk food hunters.

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