Italian verbs are conjugated depending on who is doing what. Here it is "I cook." "I" verbs have specific endings, usually "-o". Cucino. Mangio. Bevo. We, you, you all, they, and he/she/it have different endings. A single verb can be said in many different ways depending on tense, too.
I will try to answer but I don't understand if you mean as opposed to another word or if there are cases you can leave it out. The word al is used similarly to "of" in English although we would not use it in the same ways. Al is used in Italian from what I have seen to take a noun and use it as an adjective. Crema al cioccolato. Chocolate is a noun but can be used as an adjective to describe another noun by prepending it with al.
The Italian sentence could be translated "chocolate flavored cream". The English sentence is translated "chocolate cream". In English, "chocolate" is an adjective describing the cream. In Italian, chocolate is a noun telling with what the cream is flavored. "Al" is a contraction of "a" + "il". "A" is a preposition that can be translated many ways: in, at, to, on, from.... "Il", of course, means "the". You always use "al" when you want to say "something flavored by something".
I did a little googling. It appears to be either eaten in a way similar to mousse, or used to top cakes. It did look rather nice. If this is anything similar. http://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Crema-pasticcera-al-cioccolato.html
Rae, you're right. The dictionary gives "custard" and the recipe contains eggs. "Pudding" as I make it does not contain eggs and the Italian is : "budino". I speak Am. Eng. too. In British Eng. one thing I remember is "pudding" aka "pud" is any after meal sweet. Dessert in other words; even if it's not pudding like. Someone may want to correct me, though. In Greek "κρέμα" (crema) is both "pudding" and "custard".
Thanks @ Rae for the other feed backs, being looking for that conversation to say thanks, i decided to post my gratitude hoping you see it
If you can be of help to me again, am sure you are tired of me
I know Cucino means cook(verb) and Cucina cooks(verb)... please what is Cucini
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