In 1907, a tiny workshop in Central Perugia was busy making sugared almonds. But that tiny workshop became bigger than its four walls when Perugina’s founders, Giovanni Buitoni and Luisa Spagnoli, made a chocolate confection that could only have been conjured up by two star-crossed lovers.
On Valentine’s Day in 1922, inspired by pure passion, Perugina co-founder Luisa Spagnoli created a confection as grand as her love for a special someone and around each confection she would wrap a love note. Although originally named “Cazzotto” (Italian for fist or punch) due to it’s irregular shape, the name of the chocolates was later changed to Baci, the Italian word for kisses. Luisa realized the confection was too good to keep secret, and soon Baci became a favorite among the young lovers browsing the Perugina sweetshop. Nearly 100 years later, Baci are still exclusively produced in Perugia, Italy. The recipe is unchanged: silky dark chocolate envelopes a heart of gianduia (a luscious blend of chocolate and hazelnut cream) dotted with more chopped hazelnuts and gloriously crowned with a whole hazelnut. Each Bacio remains hugged by a note that reflects sentiments of love, affection and friendship.