a little luigi benedicenti to sweeten your week

Today, for your feasting pleasure, the amazing oil paintings — yes, paintings (!) of Italian artist Luigi Benedicenti (1948-2015).

They can’t be paintings, they must be photographs, you say. I’m still in disbelief myself. Even if they were photographs, they would be awesome — but paintings? Truly incredible!

A native of Turin, Benedicenti developed his own style of “realismo extremo,” or hyper photo-realism, featuring Italian pastries as his primary subject.

Apparently the pastries were made by professional bakers, but he did not consume them after taking reference photos because he had diabetes. I imagine his family and friends were only too willing to help him “take care of” the pastries when he was through with them. 🙂

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foodie field trip: my kingdom for a coco puff

How far would you travel for a coco puff?

I’m not talking about the popular breakfast cereal, but the universally adored chocolate-pudding-filled cream puff available only at Liliha Bakery in Honolulu. This sweet confection has been the bakery’s best seller since the early 90’s, something locals constantly crave and visitors make a point of eating whenever they’re in town. Google Yelp or Urban Spoon, and you’ll find rave after rave after rave about these coco puffs — for many, dessert nirvana, a type of pastry you’d sell your second child for.

Now, here’s where I hang my head in shame — though I grew up in Hawai’i, and have been back to visit many times, until last week I had never eaten a Liliha Bakery coco puff (gasp!). This is like admitting to never having eaten shave ice or saimin or spam musubi. Total sacrilege. Don’t ask me why. Major tsk, tsk.

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