But that doesn't stop ice-cream maker Marina Machiori, 49, trying to get customers to eat darker chocoloate.
"There was a time in the 1970s and early 80s when the ice-cream parlours and patissiers of Bologna were closing en masse."
"It was almost as if the terrorism that had the country in its grip had stopped people wanting sweet treats. And it was during those years that I learned my craft from Bologna’s oldest ice-cream maker. I quickly learned that sweet always works – sadly. Trying to broaden people’s palates to include bitter flavours is harder. When I opened my shop on Via Castiglioni back in 1994, it took a lot of courage to leave the chocolate ice cream the way I thought it should taste. Chocolate, after all, is made of cocoa, and cocoa is naturally bitter."
"Today, our bitter chocolate ice cream is the most popular."
"One thing to remember is that Bologna is one of the few places in Italy where people also eat ice cream in the winter. That means that I can’t shut down for a month like others do: we work all year round. ‘We’remainly women: my view is that we women work more thoroughly and more tidily than men – and we have a more delicate sense of taste. Nevertheless, the person who has had the biggest influence on my work is a man: my father. He was a machine builder. As a young woman, I never wanted to have anything to do with machines, but I’ve ended up dealing with them every day: ice-cream machines! What he taught me was that true enjoyment isn’t to be had from decadence and opulence, but rather from things that are small, exclusive, special."