The erotically named dessert capezzoli di Venere is so visually striking that it lends itself well to cinematic depictions. In the lavish film Amadeus, the obsessed composer Salieri offers Mozart’s wife a plate of breast-shaped pastries that he refers to as capezzoli di Venere. When he explains to her that the name is Italian for “nipples of Venus,” she becomes embarrassed and breaks out in giggles. The scene portrays the sharing of the dessert as a naughty act.
More than just a suggestive name, capezzoli di Venere is itself a decadent treat. A type of chocolate truffle, it’s made from pureed chestnuts, bittersweet chocolate, and brandy. The nipple is made from white chocolate. The buttery, sweet taste of capezzoli di Venere is so mouthwatering that the pleasure of eating them is said to be like kissing the breasts of the goddess of love herself.
While original recipes for capezzoli di Venere create brown-colored desserts due to the dark chocolate used, the pastries portrayed in Amadeus are white with pink nipples. Perhaps thinking that the original brown capezzoli di Venere wasn’t as camera-friendly, the filmmakers made a stylistic change to the pastries. Due to the popularity of the film, modern recipes now call for the entire truffle to be coated with white chocolate to mimic the look. Food coloring creates the healthy pink color of the nipple. The more traditional brown capezzoli di Venere can be seen in another film, the romantic fantasy Chocolat.
Capezzoli di Venere has grown to become a popular dessert for couples to share on Valentine’s Day. The combination of chocolate and sex appeal make the treat one of the most attractive desserts for lovers.
Need to Know
Nipples of Venus are most often made at home. There are plenty of recipes online for those who'd like to try their hand at making these decadent delights.
Visit Italy with Atlas Obscura Trips
Culinary Naples: Producers, Purveyors, and Pizzaioli
From street food to lavish feasts, piping-hot coffee to smooth aperitivos, folk songs to opera, hilltop farms to urban wilds, immerse yourself in the greatest culinary and cultural experiences of Naples, meeting lively local Neapolitani for whom this is the only way to live.