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Mandy ice cream

My previous post boasted about all the carb-licious treats that I could happily enjoy in Florence, as nuts were an infrequent guest at the Italian dinner table. Lactose was my biggest concern.

However, the other side of Florence’s delizioso cuisine is dessert… And that is a whole other story.

The gelato, the Italian hot chocolates, the waffles, the crepes… and so much more. Drool-worthy! It was never-ending deliciousness. No wonder people love Florence! Yet this Allergian (for the most part) had to miss out. At least I am used to it, right?

It was at this point that I reallyyy hated my allergy. I can deal with the constant concern, the frequent checking, the embarrassing conversations, the pain of restaurant searching. But I am a sucker for ice cream. And waffles. This is what really bothers me about my allergy. Desserts/treats are the main miss-out for us nut Allergians (and dairy Allergians). I would even happily put up with a sore stomach (as a result of the lactose content) if it meant enjoying these sweet delicacies. The worst part is that even when a dessert doesn’t actually contain nuts, I usually still can’t have it because it can’t be guaranteed. Desserts are also much less reliable in terms of the cross-contamination risk. I’m sure all you fellow sufferers can sympathise with me on the whole missing out on dessert thing! Follow my Instagram account www.instagram.com/allergianabroad where I trace the delectable-looking desserts enjoyed by my friends when we go out, that I have to miss out on.

What was the problem with the desserts in Florence?

Well.. let’s start with the waffles and crepes. They looked and smelt way too good. But every place I went to served Nutella as a topping. This meant that Nutella would be poured onto the crepe machine and left to (probably deliciously) melt onto the crepe. Whilst waffles weren’t as risky, given that the Nutella isn’t put into the waffle machine itself, I was still too nervous given that Nutella was the main topping of choice and it can be quite messy/drippy. From memory, even where Nutella wasn’t offered as a topping, there would instead be a similar syrup that also contained hazelnuts.

Next is the gelato. Well as in Australia, there were lots (if not more) nut flavours on offer at any given gelateria. In Australia, I only really eat packaged/tub ice cream, as pretty much every ice creamery/gelateria has a variety of nut flavours. There is such a high risk of cross-contamination due to the use of the same spoon for all flavours or, where this isn’t the case, the flavours are still right next to one another. And those sneaky nut buggers just might decide to jump over and visit the coffee ice cream.

Another thing to look out for at the gelato stores is that a lot of them have chocolate and peanut coated cones. I didn’t go near any of these gelato stores. They tend to be set out on the counter above all the ice cream flavours and they made me feel rather uncomfortable!

Then we have the chocolate stores, such as Venchi (an Italian gourmet chocolate manufacturer), which have a huge variety of yummy treats, including ice cream and chocolate goodies. As always, a lot of these contained nuts. Venchi did have some packaged goods, but most of these looked as if they were pre-packaged by the store rather than factory packaged (factory packaged somehow seeming more reliable). Instead, I purchased some factory-style packaged Venchi chocolate elsewhere from a confectionary story (see Florence and the (waffle) Machine – Part 2) – and yes, it was delicious!

The only consolation for missing out on these treats was:

  • Firstly, my eyes at least got to enjoy an array of desserts as I forced the BF to have just about EVERY dessert that ever existed in Florence, because if I couldn’t enjoy it, then at least he should [that makes sense, right?]. I lived vicariously through him.. at least twice a day.
  • Secondly, I got to make up for all the food experiences that the BF missed out on due to this Allergian. While it wasn’t my ‘fault’ per se, and while he was more than happy to miss out, I still felt bad. But I think it is safe to say that he made up for it in Italy by way of (lots and lots of) desserts.

See my next post – Florence and the (waffle) Machine – Part 2 – for some specific stories from my dessert adventures in Florence, including some awesome nut-friendly dessert finds, a sneaky nut hideout discovery and some general tips and advice!


See – I wasn’t lying about the BF’s dessert consumption!

Until next time…

The Allergian Abroad