Taste Turin Reviews
Feb 11, 2006
Chocolate and Gianduja crème, Martini and the rite of the aperitif, important wines and the best of Italian cuisine: in Torino, food is both pleasure and cult
Torino is the heart of Italian’s gastronomy. The city has always been the native soil of famous chefs and grand gourmets, and it has brought forth extraordinary, inimitable and world-famous specialties, like gianduja crème, a delicacy made with cocoa and hazelnuts that has made its name around the world thanks to the small "gianduiotti" and the famous crème spread. But chocolate – a favorite of the Savoy dynasty since the 17th century that today has been taken to new heights of excellence by the many artisan laboratories – is only the sweetest of Torino’s culinary inventions. One of the bitterest is a famous recipe that is based on a masterly infusion of flavors: vermouth, a wine mixed with thirteen herbs and spices that Antonio Benedetto Carpano began preparing in Piazza Castello in 1786, followed by the famous Martini & Rossi (thanks to James Bond). The most famous drink in the world still stars in a typically local rite: the aperitif. In the most modern bars, like in the historical cafés – which for centuries have welcomed intellectuals, tourists and business people to its tables – a before-dinner drink accompanied by countless nibbles is a rite that can’t be missed.
After the aperitif, mealtime features one of the world’s most varied cuisines: grissini, agnolotti, bagna caoda (!!!), mixed boiled meats, cheeses, precious truffles, all washed down with Piemonte’s grand red wines like Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera, plus marvelous white wines such as Spumante, Arneis, Moscato and prized Passito. And afterwards, a coffee, one of Italy’s excellences that artisan laboratories and important local producers have valorized to the utmost.
All these flavors – along with all the other flavors of the world – are celebrated every other year at the world’s most important food and wine manifestation, which has chosen Torino as its headquarters. The Salone del Gusto (The Taste Show) is organized by Slow Food, the Piemonte association that now, in every corner of the globe, propagates the passion for flavors, good taste and the quality of life. The Salone is flanked by Terra Madre – the world meeting of food communities: a unique event that has brought over 5,000 chefs, breeders, farmers and producers, representing 1,500 food communities and over 200 universities from all over the planet, to Torino to dialog about their state of affairs.
And now a new store has recently opened, Eataly, the first megastore dedicated to taste in Italy. It is located in the historic Carpano factory, next to the Lingotto, and is a true “wine and food city,” created in collaboration with Slow Food. Because in Torino, food isn’t just flavors; above all, it’s culture.
Part of the Torino, Olimpic Winter Games 2006 travel blog
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