Warning: This post is all about food so even if you’re not hungry, grab something to munch on because after writing this, I’m starving!
This past weekend was spent touring around the northern Italian city of Torino for a 1-credit course in food and food culture. Torino’s considered to be Italy’s “food” capital and it definitely did not disappoint. Although, Torino or not, I would have probably gone on any class trip that offered me credit for a weekend of travelling, eating, and drinking!
We started the trip at a vineyard in La Morra…
An antipasto of walnuts, celery, and soft cheese that paired perfectly with their white wine….
Our second antipasto: Carne cruda on bread, aka, raw sausage meat. I know what you’re thinking and I don’t care. It was probably one of the most delicious things I have ever had! (It’s also very traditional of the region.)
Our primo was handmade ravioli filled with meats. I used to think pasta was pasta was pasta. I have never been more wrong in my life. These fresh little pieces of heaven were amazing.
Each of the above dishes was paired with a different wine made in house at the vineyard. Their prized wine that we enjoyed at the end of the pasta course was this 2007 Barolo. Who knew that there were only 11 vineyards in Italy (and therefore IN THE WORLD) that could produce a DOCG quality Barolo? Delicious.
There was a lot of wine involved in this meal but we did learn a lot too. We learned how to properly taste wine and check it for color and alcohol content and analyze through smell and taste. The restaurant also had helpful boards situated around the room including this one featuring the life cycle of wine grapes.
The next day was our trip to one of the best outdoor markets I have ever been to called Porta Palazzo. The market is situated in an area that traditionally houses immigrants and therefore features not only food from around Italy but from around the world. I’ll just leave a few photos here, I know I took way too many!
Yes, that is a stingray. No, I did not know you could eat it!
I thought of my Dad when we came upon this stand. It was an entire stand full of “love!”
Goose eggs, anyone?
Tis the seasons for….pumpkins? Actually it is! Who knew!
Zucchini flowers! I never even knew these existed before moving to Italy. They’re so yummy, I wonder when they’ll catch on in the States!
The following afternoon was spent visiting a very small chocolate factory in the heart of the city. It was family owned and opperated by two brothers whose grandfather started the business. I had no idea how much work went into the production of chocolate! It takes way more time than I thought to crush the cacao beans, melt them down, add milk and sugar, cool it properly, and make it into a mold. The best part of the tour though were certainly the taste tests!
After our long day of shopping and eating chocolate we were all in need of a pick-me-up before heading off to our next stop. This is a traditional drink from Turin known as a bicherin, it’s coffee, chocolate, sugar, and whipped cream. What’s not to love?
(Humpty Dumpty was at the café too!)
Our last stop of the trip was Eataly. Eataly is a relatively new concept in Italy and is a Wegman’s/Whole Foods type grocery store. It boasts organically grown food, food from every region of Italy, and supports the Slow Food movement that aims to save traditional methods and recipes from getting lost in the growing popularity of grab & go fast food.
Pasta gragnano, mozzarella di buffala, and tomatos….yum!
All in all? Good weekend with great food and even better friends!