Ambra Meda finds some lovely pastries at Ca’ Momi in Napa.
By Ambra Meda
Before going to Ca’ Momi, enoteca (winery), pizzeria and pasticceria located in The Oxbow Market, Napa, I check their website.
A big note stands in the middle of the Menu page: “NO CHANGES: Each of our dishes honors a traditional regional Italian recipe. Please trust our food and appreciate it for what it is…authentic Italian”.
I already like the guys, but taste is the only measure. The pastries display seems like the perfect starting point.
As soon as I reach the glass I feel at home.
“Moretto“, a dark chocolate and cookie shell stuffed whit a mixture of cocoa paste and dried fruit is one of my all time favorites.
The filling reminds me of “panpepato”, a traditional chocolate Christmas treat from Italy, made with dried fruit, honey and spices. Its sweetness is perfectly balanced by the tartness of the fruit and the bitterness of the chocolate.
I go back to the display. Seven out of fourteen items are bignés, puff-filled sweets, so beloved to me that I have a favorite flavor in every Italian city. The orange one I order is outstanding.
Its light, aery cream infuses an inviting orange blossoms smell. The caramel glaze on top adds a crunchy bite to my perfect mouthful.
The almond one looks fantastic too. “One of this, please.”
A scattering of nut flakes is framed in a glistening brittle that covers the top.
While sinking my teeth into it, I encounter the frothy, delicate cream filling.
My mouth is still full, but an uncontrollable impulse drives a few words out of it: “Can I have another one?“
Only one adjective swims through my head: “moving”.
The lightness of the puff paste enhances the sensational lusciousness of the custard. The bitter almond taste embraces the sweetness of the burnt sugar in a blaze of flavor. Three different sensations blend together in a heavenly mixture. These pastries are truly filled with emotion.
Ca’ Momi, 610 First Street, Napa, CA www.camomienoteca.com