Hi there everyone!
Today I have some really interesting eats to show you from the guys over at Holy Art, all the way from Italy!
Holy Art sell a tonne of religious items but they also support their local monasteries by selling the fantastic handmade foods the monasteries make!
I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on a couple of items to taste.
I’ve heard they are made from all natural ingredients so I’m excited!
Milk chocolate and pear jam!
Considering the fact these are hand made, the packaging on both looks very professional.
The cardboard sleeve the chocolate comes in is almost a work of art in itself.
I can’t resist a bit of chocolate but first, a little about it!
This chocolate was made by Trappists.
Trappists follow the rule of St. Benedict, which was written in the sixth century and insists upon stability, fidelity to monastic life, and obedience.
This includes keeping speaking to a minimum and they have actually developed their own unique sign language over the years.
St. Benedict also insisted upon working with your own hands therefore many Trappist monasteries make and sell items they have made, hence this chocolate by the Frattochie Trappist Monastery in Italy.
Lets have a look!
Of course all of the ingredients are in Italian but thankfully I have a translation.
Ingredients: 35% minimum cocoa, sugar, cocoa butter, powdered milk, cocoa paste.
Contains: soya lecitine and vanilla.
Certainly a small amount of ingredients which is a refreshing change to packages in most supermarkets where you feel you need a degree in science to figure out what’s in there.
Let’s look at the chocolate itself.
It comes in really chunky and thick blocks, two in a row, with lovely little “T” mouldings.
You get 150 grams in this package which is about 50 grams more than an average chocolate bar so very chunky indeed! You might be able to make out tiny little air bubble holes on the surface which gives this chocolate a more handmade and rustic look I think.
I’m going to take a bite!
It’s very nice, it’s smooth, it’s slightly nutty tasting, the only other way I can think to describe it is that it tastes like Easter egg type chocolate, though I think it has more flavour than that.
The consistency is easily snappable and it takes a little while to melt while in the mouth.
It’s not too sickly so is a nice chocolate to sit down and eat as is but I think it could also be great for baking, as the star of the dish.
Next up, the pear jam!
This jam was made by another monastery, this one from the Carmelites Monastery in San Remo, Italy.
Carmelites are an order dating back to Medieval times that concentrate more on the prophet Elijah and the Virgin Mary, of whom they are considered under special protection, and try to reflect that in their prayer, community and service.
Their strong connection with the Virgin Mary means they are also devoted to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, to which they are named.
Again I have to say I am in love with the packaging on this, really simple and classic.
According to Holy Art this jam is produced according to ancient recipes and first choice fruits, so I can’t wait to try it!
The ingredients are very short which is fantastic, it contains just the basics for a delicious jam with none of the added nasties.
The ingredients translate to “Ingredients: Pear, sugar. Gelling: pectin. Correction of acidity: citric acid. Fruits used: 60g per 100g, Sugar total: 55g per 100g
First, I’m going to try a small spoon of it and taste it uninterrupted!
Wow. Just wow, it is amazing.
It really has a true and deep pear flavour and though there is a lot of sweetness there, it’s not overpowering or taking over from the pear taste which really tastes fruity and fully alive like the pears were picked when properly ripened.
Now, to try it on a piece of bread and butter.
Something that tastes like this should be treated simply to fully taste it.
It’s really softly set which is lovely, most supermarket jams are hard lumps that you really need to press down to be able to spread which is not good.
To enjoy it fully like this you will have to put on a few tablespoons indeed, the flavour is still apparent but is slightly overwhelmed by the bread and butter.
Really, the best way to eat this jam, especially if you wanted to bake with it would be to make it the star of some jam tarts.
Bake up some pastry cases, let them cool then spoon in this jam at the end and it would be a match made in Heaven indeed.
All in all, these were absolutely lovely and I will be really sad when this jar of jam runs out.
Both the chocolate and jam come in different flavours and there are even some marmalades made by the Carmelites Monastery, which if they’re anything like this pear jam I whole heartedly recommend you taste.
You can find them all, as well as natural honeys and alcohol, over at Holyart.