Scone-based La Sicilyana bistro has brought a uniquely Sicilian sweet treat to Scotland in response to growing demand for gourmet chocolate bars.
The bustling bistro, which also has a thriving wine import business, has seen huge demand for the traditionally made ‘cold-pressed’ vegan chocolate since it was introduced earlier this year.
Take-home chocolate sales increased by 25% over this year’s first lockdown, according to The Grocer’s Chocolate Category Report 2020, which also identifies vegan chocolate as a ‘megatrend’.
The chocolate is made in the UNESCO heritage town of Modica in Sicily, using a technique little-changed in 300 years, since Spaniards brought the process from the Aztecs to the island during Spain’s rule over Sicily.
Sicilian-born Laura Raimondi who runs the bistro with her husband Steven Dalton, explains what makes the chocolate so distinctive and why they’re including it in their new range of hampers and foodie gifts:
“Chocolate from Modica is really special. The artisans grind cocoa beans with cane sugar with very low heating, so all the aromas of the beans are preserved, and the chocolate bar is thick with a wonderful crumbly texture. It’s naturally vegan, too, which a lot of our customers appreciate. There is nothing else like it, and it’s rarely found in Scotland.
“This year has been really difficult for so many people, with our options for celebrating and indulgence being limited. However, lots of people are making the most of it by enjoying extra-special foods at home. We directly import and sell fine wines and chocolate liqueurs from Sicily as well as offering real Italian food like pizza and pasta in our bistro and to take away, and it’s great to be able to offer our customers a special sweet treat to take home, too.”
The distinctive chocolate is available from La Sicilyana bistro in Scone and as part of a new range of Christmas gifts and hampers available at www.lasicilyana.co.uk