My name’s Emilia, welcome to my world of chocolate!

Chocolate is the main ingredient in all my desserts... and in my story, which began many years ago in a chocolate factory in Milan…

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The chocolate factory I’m writing from was founded in 1913 in Milan by Luigi Zaini. My story, however, would begin later, a few years after the factory moved to Via Imbonati, in the Dergano neighborhood. It was 1938 and Mr. Zaini passed away at a young age. His wife, Mrs. Olga, took the helm of the company and I started working as the nanny for her 4 children: Piero, Rosetta, Luisella and Vittorio. In order to be close to her children, Olga had a nice apartment built in the courtyard of the factory, so she simply had to cross the yard to get to work. Helping around the house there was the governess, the cook and myself, all women, and in the company Olga also employed many women, both for office work and in the factory. The children and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen trying out desserts. Raw materials were certainly not in short supply and Piero, the oldest of the four, had a real talent. So much so that years later his nieces and nephews would dedicate a cookbook that still bears his name today: Zio Piero’s recipes. The cook helped us with desserts for special occasions, so our cookbook continued to grow both with simple recipes for breakfast and teatime and for special anniversaries.


But I never would have imagined that Mrs. Olga would one day call the famous Zaini chocolate bar (that at the time was called a Block) after me: Emilia! Maybe it was recognition for keeping the children company so often or maybe for all the chocolate recipes that we invented! Anyway, that’s my story, and I’m proud to be a part of all this. Here you can find all the recipes that we tested out in the Zaini house kitchen, along with more modern recipes. They can all be part of the same notebook if made with the perfect chocolate, the best Italian chocolate around: the one named after me!


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