Hemingway’s sweet surprise

Rum and chocolate: a pairing that Ernest Hemingway could not resist. The American writer first tasted “Cuneesi al Rhum®” in 1954, while he passed through Cuneo on his way to Nice, France.

Following the advice of his friend, publisher Arnoldo Mondadori, he had stopped in Piazza Galimberti and paid a visit to the historical Pasticceria Arione, where the famous sweet had been invented thirty years earlier. Dark chocolate, cream and rum were mixed in a paste and squeezed between two meringues, then covered in more dark chocolate. Hemingway was impressed – and so thrilled of his discovery that he bought two kilos of his new favorite chocolates, to make the pleasure of that first surprise last longer.

Although many imitations followed, the original ‘cuneesi’ are still the ones from that shop in Piazza Galimberti. Here, the walls are decorated with advertising posters designed by Carlo Prandoni in the 1950s, and mouth-watering confectionary is on display in briarroot cabinets, in step with the original 1930s’ furniture. The descendants of the founder, Andrea Arione, manage the store – which Mario Monicelli chose as the location for some scenes in his 1963 “The Organizer”, starring Annie Girardot and Marcello Mastroianni.

Under the red wrapper, your own sweet surprise is waiting to be discovered.

December 17, 2013

Hemingway’s sweet surprise

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