Since early 2022, the windows that look out onto the provincial highway through Gassino invite passers-by to come in and discover the work of pastry chef Simone Salerno. It was in 2015 that he and his wife Alessandra Porta established Chocolat in his home town of Siena. Then, in 2017, they moved to Gassino (in a side street a hundred metres from the new premises).
The name of the shop itself says a lot about Simone’s training and his love of French patisserie. Chocolate dominates of course, in the form of fancy seasonal creations at Christmas and Easter, and throughout the year in a vast array of pralines, such as carezze di Gassino (truffle with Jamaica rum) and sospiri di Gassino (meringue with roasted hazelnuts, glazed with plain chocolate).
The shop, which is open every day, goes into action early in the morning with a diverse range of breakfasts: hence 20 or so different croissants, brioches, puff pastries and other tempting goodies (with options for vegans and the food-intolerant). Then come savories such as classic canapés, salted croissants, pizzas and focaccias.
At the aperitif hour, the range is supplemented by the jar-cooked tapas of Affini in Turin.