Mention bakery to an Italian and they soon start talking twice as fast. They love their breads each region is fiercely proud of its own as well as its national breads.

Meanwhile, cakes include a chocolate sponge Piave, sprinkled with icing sugar and made to a centuries-old recipe, representing the town where it was invented by the local confectioner. Italy’s bakery show SIAB, in Verona, claimed 38,000 visitors over the five days and, while baked goods were much to the fore, key equipment manufacturers such as Polin and Mondial Forni were also in attendance.

The numerous demonstrations and competitions revealed ingredients companies suggesting a trend towards plenty of wholesome fruit for decoration. There was also reams of confectioners’ custard, huge amounts of meringue (more popular than ever) and chocolate was definitely holding its own.

There was an emphasis on ’purity’ and ’natural’ two words that kept re-occurring on posters and leaflets. Millers joined in and talked more than ever about bread as a ’healthy’ and ’essential’ part of the daily diet.

Our photo report, left, looks at the live bakery, visitors to the show and what they saw.