A place of charm, convivial and intellectual, d'antan, the pastry shop is back in fashion to dispense opulent foods, sometimes forbidden, more comfort than nourishing. A privileged space for sweet encounters, the tea room becomes a glamorous set to set photo shoots with strictly analogical references and (therefore) with a strong communicative power. Elaborated and decorated, fragrant and greedy, voluptuous, sometimes sinful, the desserts refer to the idea of pleasure and transgression or suck into a childish dimension.
In literature, food is at the ‘center of the village’
A symbol of sociality that still retains that sacred value that has belonged to it since ancient times, often the moment of preparation or consumption of food corresponds to a focal point or a significant junction in the narration of a book or film. Some sweets, due to their evocative power, have become true literary topoi. In the novel Chocolat by Joanne Harris (1998) and in the film of the same name by Lasse Hallstrom, for example, a seductive chocolatier upsets the narrow social relations of a small French village: she makes her welcoming place the confidential and convivial center of the community, thus cementing a union that passes through the flavors and aromas of chocolate.
In literature, food is (also) sought after, craved, consumed, devoured
With the witty and polite irony that characterizes him, Guido Gozzano in the poem Le golose (The greedy) written in 1907 amused observes ladies and gentlemen who choose and eat pastries in a historic café in Turin. Her verses, with refined delicacy, speak of pleasure and its different nuances but at the same time show, in the way the ladies rush and gorge, vices and weaknesses, which reveal more childish – and less noble – sides of the ones they would like to bring up.
I am in love with all the ladies / who eat pastries in confectioneries.
Ladies and young ladies - / fingers without gloves - / choose the pasta. / How much girls come back!
So that no one sees them, / they turn their backs, quickly, / they raise the veil, / they devour their prey. [...]
The art of pastry decoration
Gorgeous and pompous, fun and colorful, organic and tactile, the Cornucopia vases turn perspective upside down: the vase themself are more expressive than the flowers they contain. Combining an industrial material such as steel with hand tufted wool, the unusual collection represents a material investigation and at the same time a tribute to the decorative art of haute patisserie, to its sumptuous and sensual, but also delicate and extremely precise approach. The result is playful and tasty.
The series of fifteen vases, declined in four textures, which owes its name to the mythological symbol of the horn of plenty, was born from the passion for surfaces, textures and unconventional design of the Tableau studio shared with the textile designers Anne Louise Rasmussen and Maja Marie Halling from Röd Studio.
Refined shots with a vintage allure frame the eclectic collection of vases inside the historic and opulent rooms of the oldest and most prestigious Danish pastry shop, Conditori La Glace, opened in 1870 in the center of old Copenhagen. Each vase, consisting of a steel tube wrapped in hand-quilted wool and adorned with pearls, glitter and horsehair tassels, takes its name from one of the sweets of the restaurant, famous all over the world for the exclusive selection it offers. for six generations.
The chromatic palette and the material consistency of the jars refer to the thick custard and the soft sponge cake, evoking the same sensorial intensity, as well as delicacy, of cakes, pastries and desserts by La Glace: they seem edible in short.
Mise en place and artful pâtisserie, with panache
Colombina-juggler bursts on the table in all her beauty. Although painted strictly covered, she interprets summer, the season of seduction, abundance, play and joie de vivre. To spruce her up two desserts with allusive shapes. This is one of the four dishes dedicated to small pastries made ad hoc for the D'O restaurant by starred chef Davide Oldani. SchönhuberFranchi's Fjord dinner plates have become the canvas on which Vanni Cuoghi painted real works of art.
The artist has created a carousel of evocative images, inspired by the commedia dell’arte (art commedy) of the sixteenth century, a sometimes irreverent show that replaced the erudite comedy of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries with the histrionic presence of masks. The decorations of the pâtisserie dishes refer to traditional popular masks, each of which has been associated by the artist with the representation of a season.
Tastes and smells of Sunday
The memory of the intense and greedy, sacred and familiar scent of the holidays marked by the corollary of rituals and traditions is contained in the fragrance of home diffuser Dolci della Domenica (Sunday sweets) by Filippo Sorcinelli. The collection of room diffusers, the latest addition to the evocative I remember when in Mondolfo... line, conveys the sensations experienced by Filippo during his youth in the enchanting Marche village, between the church and the sacristy, football, trees to climb on and embroidery on linen handkerchiefs imbued with the scent of lily of the valley.
Dolci della Domenica releases the essence – olfactory and emotional – of the feast day, when Filippo's father, after Mass, invariably returned home with a tray full of pasta. Smells and flavors of memory: thanks to the senses, the past emerges from the ravines, from the ‘hiding places’ of the mind, and returns.
As when Marcel Proust in On Swann's side, first volume of the work In search of lost time, describes in an intimate and vivid way how the taste of a small cake, the madeleine soaked in lime tea, is able to awaken in him a series of unexpected memories, bringing with them the nostalgia for a world. The reminiscence, crystallized, apparently inaccessible, thanks to a light and soft perfume, is revealed in its power. To be savored with the same ingenuity.
The (inaccessible) display case for pasta
With a sacred aura, like a sort of pagan altar, the display of pastries is a scenographic and elegant presence, dazzling and tempting: majestic but sinuous made of precious materials, it hosts and frames decorated cakes and colorful delicacies. The Calacatta Macchia Vecchia texture by SapienStone, a porcelain stoneware surface inspired by the noble Apuan marble, has a white background, crossed by golden veins with hints of gray and beige, which gives brightness and preciousness to the counter, high enough for children they can see – but not touch – the candy they are so attracted to. Not just them. The sweet taste is in fact particularly suitable for calming states of anxiety, dissatisfaction or lack of affection (of adults), according to a cliché that is well supported by its chemical composition.
The first food in the world that pulsates in time to the heart could only be launched by the multifaceted London studio of Architects of Taste Bompas & Parr of designers, artists, chefs and ‘alchemists’ who “feed the mind and stomach”. The latest novelty in the culinary, creative and experimental relaunch of the jelly brand Benham & Froud founded in 1785 that brings back the typically British food in cubes, with a glorious past, is Heart Throbr, an App activated by the heartbeat that allows to shape desserts that beat in the dark.
Sweets but also projects, exhibitions, workshops, stimuli and comparisons. In Vicenza, a former pastry shop framed by a large window on the street has become a place for aggregation – physical and digital –, dissemination and free circulation of creative ideas. La Pasticceria (The Pastry shop) was in fact the laboratory of a historic offelleria that ASA studio albanese in 2019 transformed into a cultural space. The initial project was that of an archive – closed – in the classical sense to collect the over 40 years of activity of Flavio Albanese's studio. Now it is an – open – laboratory of immaterial production in which ideas and thoughts meet, mix and combine, creating tasty and stimulating creative mixtures to share with the public and the city. But not only.
During the health emergency, in the impossibility of being able to have guests in the spaces in Contra’ San Francesco, the Lieviti. Pensieri sparsi in Pasticceria (Yeasts. Thoughts scattered in the pastry shop) format was born. Thoughts scattered in the pastry shop. Every month mini interviews with various personalities from the world of culture, such as Chiara Valerio, Daniele Zinni and Giovanna Silva, are conveyed through the website and the Instagram page of the design studio. So La Pasticceria becomes a (also) digital factory of material culture, focused on practical processes thanks to which contemporary intellectual, creative and communicative expressions take shape and are proposed to the world. An in-depth analysis as timely as ever in these pandemic, uncertain and (physically) closed times.
Twentieth century history and culture (graphic) workshop
The anonymous and familiar design of the pastry cards created in the Thirties for the most important clubs in Italy is part of the advertising that marked an era. A symbol of Italian creativity – recognizable, festive and crumpled –, some papers were exhibited, alongside, among others, the decorative panel created by the Bauhaus master Xanti Schawinsky for the Olivetti shop in Turin, as part of The animated archive. Work in progress that in San Lazzaro di Savena (Bologna) has narrated the twentieth century in 20 chapters through art, design, photography, graphics and industry, drawing on the rich archive of the Cirulli Foundation.
Among the graphic projects on display, the pastry cards designed in the early 1930s by Nicholay Diulgheroff for the Vapoforni Pietro Giovanni pastry shops in Rome and Cervio and Mainetti in Pavia.
Fairy tales never go out of style
The digital acceleration due to the pandemic has multiplied the platforms, fragmenting them. Today, communication necessarily passes through a coordinated mix of images, printed paper, digital and social networks, which draw on the most varied creative worlds, without any kind of boundaries. Not even between real and imaginative. Like the visual identity of MICAM, the reference show in the footwear sector, curated by MM Company, a creative consulting agency founded by Manuel Barbieri and Marco Magalini.
The creative idea that will distinguish the fair for the next editions is #micamtales: a collection of fairy tales reinterpreted in a contemporary way. In 2020 MICAM in Wonderland was staged, a surreal transposition of Alice in Wonderland, told in two chapters, in February and then in September, in the digital edition, where at the center of the scene was the garden, punctuated by colorful cakes, elaborated and garnished for pastry. Sweets, which seem to have been created by magic or at least alchemy, are omnipresent in fairy tales: children are more often attracted to a soft aroma of sugar, vanilla and chocolate than to a real food.
The tea ritual
In a garden with roses painted with red paint, preparations are in full swing, the table is set: cups, plates and saucers, tea, teapots and pastries, frosted cakes, hearts and playing cards. And a white rabbit. The communication of MICAM draws from the narration and from the fairy-tale imagery which, distorting the proportions and accentuating the perspective imbalances, tells of eccentric and extravagant shoes, clothes and accessories, almost as much as the teapots that participate in the Happy Non Birthday party in the famous cartoon of the Disney.
Thanks to the meticulous study of visual and linguistic codes and the complexity of the increasingly liquid and multifaceted world of communication, MM Company's MICAM in Wonderland campaign won the ICMA Award 2020 as the best social media project.