Monday, January 5, 2009
The holiday season isn’t over just yet. On the Twelfth Night of Christmas in cities and towns throughout Italy, children leave stockings and shoes out in hopes of a gift on January 6th from la Befana, the old beneficent witch, who flies through the sky on her broom. She leaves gifts of toys and sweets for good children. And for those naughty ones? You guessed it: Coal.
On this last night of a more-than-a-little-uneven holiday season, why not pick out that one rotter on your list and let them know how you really feel? Remember, it’s 354 days ‘til Christmas comes around!
Carbone dolce (sweet coal) is a black candy that looks awful, but tastes sugary sweet. It turns your tongue black. It’s widely available in Italy in the weeks leading up to the Feast of the Epiphany. Most candy shops here sell Santa’s coal, or something like it. Your recipient will get the hint.