The name Turin immediately calls to mind FIAT. But this time, it’s not the famous car manufacturer but rather the brand of equally famous square chocolates, flavoured with cocoa, almonds and butter, with their velvety creamy flavour.
In actual fact the cars have got something to do with the chocolates, indeed they have a lot in common, since they were invented due to a competition set up by the car manufacturer, in order to launch the “Tipo 4”, with an advertising campaign that was set to “tantalise” customers.
The bond between the city of Turin and chocolate is strong, undoubtedly due to its past as a royal city, ready to satisfy the voracious and refined palates of the nobility.
The symbol of Turin is in this sense the Gianduiotto praline, with its unmistakable (and unforgettable) taste. The bicerin del Cavour is somewhat less famous but a special delicacy in its own right. It is a hot beverage made with coffee, hot chocolate, milk, cream and cocoa and was a favourite of count Camillo Benso.
Undoubtedly the presence of a rich and widespread noble class hugely affected Turin cuisine. One example is the great attention given to starters, which include grissini breadsticks, formerly only available on the tables of the wealthy, and the abundance of meat as a main ingredient in most dishes.
Agnolotti is fresh pasta with a meat-rich filling (beef, pork and ham) or filled with vegetables, eggs, and breadstick crumbs, served with a butter and truffle, butter and sage or meat sauce. Meat also stars in the bollito, literally boiled meat dish, typical on the tables of the rich in Turin, accompanied by raw vegetables of artichokes in a Turin-style sauce made with chicken, veal, ham and truffle.
Another local delicacy, risotto, is of considerable importance given the large number of paddy fields in Lombardy.
Lastly, the cuisine in Turin is marked by a French influence too, for dishes such as escargots.
It is worth mentioning Truffle, a highly sought-after tuber to this day, and traditionally used in both pasta and rice dishes as well as main courses.
Products which date back to popular cooking include the bagna cauda, somewhat like a fondue, with vegetables and poorer ingredients, and a particular cheese, called toma, which came in different shapes and forms to adorn the tables of both the rich and the poor.
Table wines from Turin and Piedmont in general are mostly red, ideal with meat dishes, such as the Barolo, referred to as the king of wines, and the Barbera, to mention just a couple.
Mention must be made of sparkling wines, linked to the region and in particular to the area around Asti.
Lastly, considering the selection of cakes, chocolates and pralines which fill the traditions of Turin, we cannot fail to mention the Vermut di Torino, which you are strongly advised to try.
Most Trendy pubs and Bar in Turin (Italian language)