Little Italy

You may have noticed on my social media outlets that I love a certain little Italian cafe in my home town, Broughty Ferry: Visocchi’s. Why do I love it so? It’s a family-run establishment with the best coffee in Dundee (and the surrounding area) and, believe me, I’ve tried a lot of coffee round these parts! I love that Visocchi’s is run by an Italian family (and has been since it was founded in 1954), which gives it a really authentic touch. The Caira family are warm and friendly, and there seems to be loads of them, which is something I’ve always dreamed of – being part of a huge and glamorous Italian family. 

What’s more, the staff at Visocchi’s are treated like extended family by the Cairas. The entire team always gives a warm welcome to Visocchi’s customers, whether they’re dashing in for an award-winning ice cream cone (Visocchi’s is mobbed throughout the summer months) or staying for a nice long, Italian lunch of spaghetti or pizza. The Caira family manage to make their customers feel like guests in their cosy Italian home, with big smiles for every new arrival, possibly the reason why Visocchi’s is a much-loved local treasure, an institution which is fondly referred to as ‘Visoc’s’ by some locals.

Like I said, I often go for coffee and every time I do, I hope to see Marco behind the counter – he’s amazing at making coffee. No – really – he is: he just scooped Barista of the Year at the Scottish Italian Awards on Sunday night. His campaign for best barista was brilliant and included a fabulously filmed and edited video, as well as a little help from his now famous Scottish Highland Terriers (they were the stars of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow). Marco has worked as a barista since he was sixteen and it’s clear he’s passionate about his work, and says that the work of a barista still feels new to him, even though coffee is coffee.

“The laws of science cannot be altered and will always stay the same, but the art side to making coffee is an endless array of creativity. Art takes many forms. It is in the eye of the creator and the customer. Each barista is an artist and within them, they possess diverse individual skills and talents. To me, it is a life long commitment. A life time of perfecting one’s work, honing one’s craft. A barista never settles for the notion of the ‘best’, for the best is never good enough. It’s about creating something different from the norm, something completely new. Painting a canvas with subtle nuances, explosive flavours and scintillating aromas. I guess it’s always about being the best you can be.”

It’s poetry, no?

The images (shot by his brother, Roberto) show Marco making his signature drink at Vissochi’s, a drink which I am desperate to try, so I’ll be heading there very soon! If you haven’t been to Visocchi’s, then I urge you to visit as soon as you possibly can. You’ll enjoy the authentic atmosphere, the joy of seeing all the Italian pastas and olives and biscuits available to buy (a foil wrapped panettone is a must this festive season), and, in particular the food and drink – which is, quite simply, delicious.

Check out the Visocchi’s Facebook page for inspiring and funny updates, as well as mouth watering images…. and I don’t just mean their Hangover Cure posts featuring attractive male celebrities every Monday.


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