Last week I had the pleasure to meet Zoccola’s owner Alice and I asked her something interesting about her job. Zoccola is the most popular and delicious cake shop in my area, everybody knows it most of all for its pastry rolls (I suggest them to everyone!).
Interview to Alice Zoccola
To start I would know something about the story of the cake shop: when it was born and so on..
“Well, the cake shop was born in 1820 from my ancestors: I’m the fifth generation. If you want the detailed story you can find it on our website: http://www.pasticceriazoccola.com/”
I would know how many wedding cakes do you produce during a year?
And how many following the American style?
“By now the American wedding cakes won the day! Every 100 cakes, 80 are in the American style!”
Have you ever received strange requests from the customers?
“Next week we have to make an horseshoe-shaped wedding cake because this couple will be married in a riding stable: they obviously love horses. The chocolate cake toppers will be on the cake top with a chocolate little horse. This is the only thing that I’m wondering to.. generally the requests are classical: it depends on the colors. Pink.. light violet is the trend of this year.. fuchsia.. yellow.. it depends on customers..”
So not only white?
“Not.. all white absolutely not! White is ever combined to another color like light violet, red, fuchsia, green and so on..”
All big and scenic?
“Yes.. usually four or five levels.. Now the guests aren’t 100 or 200 people like some years ago, but around 80, at the most 100..”
What about price?
“50€ for 1kg.. 1 hectogram for guest”
Statistics say that the weddings’ number is decreasing and the costs are increasing.. is it right?
“Well.. obviously a wedding is really expensive.. In addition to the cake we also do catering and wedding’s planning, from the wedding favors to the invitations, including the menus, the tables’ distribution.. for example we give them the names decided by the brides: flowers, butterflies, animals.. it depends on their tastes.. Logically a complete package is quite expensive if the brides want something special”
What about the wedding cake’s price?
“It has been the same from 2 year, when we had introduced the American wedding cakes. Before it costs around 40€ for 1kg.. Usually every year it increases 1 or 2€.”
I don’t know if you watch the television programs about wedding planning, but do you know who is the cake designer? What do you think about the fact that he designs the only decorations and not the cake itself?
“Yes: I take inspiration from that programs! I think that cake designer is really positive. We don’t have that profession because when we have the cake in front of us we create decorations instantly. However, if the customer wants a designed project of the cake before its creation we can do it without problems.”
I have also taken part to the decoration of a wedding cake and I have told about this with the pastry chef. Here there are some photos made by me…
The pastry chef explained me that the difference between the real American wedding cakes and this one is that Americans cover the all cake with the fondant past (the one used to make the white ribbons), while Italians use cream and whipped cream.
The American cake is composed by very high cakes one on the others, while between the levels of this one there are three levels of polystyrene.
The reason is this: while Americans use a lot of pasts that make the structure very solid, Italians use only fruit, sponge cake, cream and chocolate, all ingredients that melt down out of the fridge. Obviously the American one’s taste is worst that the Italian one…
Another important consequence of the use of different ingredients is that Americans can invest a lot of time to the creation of their spectacular cakes because the pasts can resist for days, while cream and whipped cream resist only one day.
We can’t compare the Americans’ scenic mania to the Italian taste!