Piemonte and chocolate is a story made by generations of master chocolatiers and irresistible goodness, to be enjoyed in confectioneries and historical cafés in Torino and throughout the region.
Quality raw materials and great creativity have made of Torino the European capital of chocolate since the second half of the 1600s, when cocoa arrives in Piemonte with Emanuele Filiberto Duke of Savoy, at the time in the service of Charles V of Spain, the first kingdom to introduce the "food of the gods" from Central America to Europe. According to the story, the Duke wanted to serve a steaming cup of chocolate to the city to symbolically celebrate the transfer of the capital from Chambéry to Torino. From 1678, when the court drink became a widespread privilege and could be sold to the public, the Torino artisanal art of chocolate conquered hearts and palates with solid and liquid forms: from the chocolate bars sold "in cut" in the shops to specialties such as the cremino, or Torinese (three layers of chocolate, one inside chocolate hazelnut paste and two external cream gianduja), the stuffed Alpino, Preferito and Favorito, as well as pralines, truffles and “cri cri”, round delights with a heart of hazelnut, covered with chocolate and mini sugar balls. From the unique combination of cocoa and “Gentle Round Hazelnut of the Langhe” is born the Gianduiotto, whose shape is similar to an upturned boat. It was the first chocolate wrapped in history and, created in 1865 during the Carnival, takes its name from the ruddy mask of Torino, namely Gianduja.
A "chocolate tour” in Torino must include a Pinguino, the first walking ice-cream on a stick covered with a crunchy chocolate layer. Let you indulge in a Bicerin, the "small glass" that since 1763 delights the palate with its 3 layers of hot chocolate, coffee and milk cream (never to mix! thereby allowing the various ingredients to come together directly on the palate).
In many Royal Residences’ cafeterias and in historical cafés how to resist the temptation of a sumptuous Royal Chocolate Time, sipping steaming chocolate and delicious “baci di dama” (“kisses of lady”, small biscuits with chocolate and hazelnut flour), fragrant chocolate tablets and “bignole” (tiny cream puffs to taste in one bite) ?
All around Piemonte, enjoy a Bunet, the rich, spoon dessert with amaretti, cacao and rum, or some Cuneesi al Rum, the sweets produced in Cuneo, consisting of two meringue wafers with dark chocolate and rum, all coated with dark chocolate.