That Simone Parisi is a native of Florence is a fact evident from the moment you glance at the Terra & Acqua menu. His restaurant’s extensive selection of antipasti, handmade pasta, and traditional Italian of both the land and sea betray an intimate knowledge of Italian cuisine that could only have been learned through lifelong exposure. Because of this unbridled authenticity, they’ve become well-known in the area for their pasta and the flavor of their brick oven. One thing you often don’t hear about, though, is their desserts. They’ll often fall under the shadow of the flashier antipasti and primi. And for us, that’s a problem.
That’s a problem because – if you haven’t tried their desserts – you’re seriously missing out. To prove this point, let me tell you about the traditional Florentine Ghiottone. To start off, ghiottone is Italian for “glutton.” Not a bad name for a dessert. The foundation of the dish is the housemade dough that the chefs prepare for the pizza. That dough is then filled with bananas, mascarpone cheese, chocolate hazelnut spread, and chocolate shavings, folded over to make a pocket, and placed in the brick oven. This baking style not only melts all the chocolate and cheese inside, but gives the dough that irresistible crispiness that you get in pizza crust. When you cut into the Ghiottone, the melted ingredients have melded with each other and seeped into the dough.
It isn’t a dish to approach lightly (all that chocolate is nothing to sneeze at), but it’s one you’ll want to approach again and again. The chefs take a few simple ingredients, add in some tried and true culinary techniques, and take a dessert masterpiece out of the oven.
But listen closely, dear reader – the Ghiottone is for sharing. Unless you’ve decided it’s going to be your meal for the next week, this dish is far too much for one mortal to tackle. But trust us, it’s worth convincing your dining companions to try. And with everything the Ghiottone offers, we doubt there will be much resistance.