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07 December 2013

Children's Party Food in Italy

When I became a parent, part of the package with the little bundle of joy I was holding in my arms was also stepping inside the world of getting to know all the cartoon characters that exists and children's parties (giving them and attending them). And in the process, growing deaf too as the years of attending children's parties progress.

I am now in my 8th year. Does that make me a professional children's party Mom? Yes and no. I already know all the indoor party places that can be rented around town and how every single one of them is like inside and out. I still haven't gone into cooking food for any of my two children's birthday parties nor develop any intent to do so too. I still leave that to the hands of the professional bakers. The only vital thing needed from me was to know the cartoon characters by heart and of course, which ones are the favorites of my kids.

Just three days ago, my daughter celebrated her 4th birthday in one of these indoor playground places. My husband and I booked the place a month in advance, distributed the invitations early, ordered the food and cake in time and gathered all the other matching violet and pink eating paraphernalia for the table. The motif was violet (or nothing else!) because it is our daughter's favorite color and among the cartoon characters available, Peppa Pig was the one. The playground has Peppa Pig balloons and the baker can make a Peppa Pig cake that can match the violet and pink motif. All set!

If you put my husband in charge of matching the quantity of food with the number of guests, those guests can take their entire neighborhoods with them too. He orders not just a lot but always too much. Since we usually don't have a proper headcount of the guests, we go for the maximum.  It's always better to stay on the safe side. Running out of food during a party is horrific. Uuhhm, just like what happened to the other birthday party next to ours. Their guests started to trickle to our part too. First the kids then some adults too. I really didn't mind it because we had enough food and drinks to share but I saw the importance of having enough food to feed the number of people you invite.

We all agreed that the baker who made our food was good. Since we had a lot of leftovers to take home, it had been a pleasure to enjoy them for the second time. And with these leftovers, I thought of presenting to you the typical party food that you will find in children's parties here. 

Let me start with those mini tomato pizzas on top called pizzette. They are always sought after by both the adults and kids.

The sandwiches have a stronger pull with me instead so you will see me grabbing those mini sandwiches called bottoncini salati with different kinds of prosciutto and cheese. There are also the sweet ones with Nutella called bottoncini con Nutella.

The rustici like the ones on top follow behind the pizzette in popularity. They're salty and can be filled up with a hundred things. Ours are different versions with anchovies, hotdogs and cheese. 

Tramezzini. If these sandwiches are around, nothing else exists for me except maybe a piece or two of the bottoncini salati. I love these especially the ones with tuna and artichokes or tomatoes.

Potato chips, uhhm, baked. They are called patatine al forno. I eat chips but these ones are too mild for me. Italian kids don't have frequent access to potato chips on a regular basis so when there are birthday parties, the bowls of potato chips get attacked first.

For the sweet side, there are biscuits (like the ones at the bottom) and mignon or pastries like the ones on top. Then of course, there is always the birthday cake that everyone is looking forward to. Birthday cakes here are not so beautiful with beautiful designs and vivid colors. In fact, they look boring and look like they never changed styles from 100 years ago. Girls get pink tulle ruffles all around the cakes and for the boys, it's light blue. But no one really cares about that, me included,  because what matters is how the cakes taste like. Millefoglie is my favorite (if done well). Then there are also the ones with cream and fruits, some with chocolate and cream. Cake designing had never been a strong point of bakers here but tastewise, they are absolute winners!

For 2013, we are done with our share of birthday parties. I hope you enjoyed this post! Enjoy your weekend!