Fresh prepared meats, freshwater fish, frogs and snails: Piedmontese cuisine offers a delectable and varied selection of main courses. The classic mix of boiled meats (bollito misto), for example, is a dish of seven different meats (traditionally accompanied by seven different sauces), while Carrù boiled beef (bollito di Carrù) is a specialty in the province of Cuneo, particularly popular in December during the centuries-old Fiera del Bue Grasso (“Fair of the Fattened Cow”). Other typical dishes that delight the palate include brasato al Barolo (beef braised with Barolo), Buseca tripe and the subalpine sustainable hamburger. Piedmontese beef, produced according to an age-old tradition of cattle breeding, is also at the base of some raw-meat dishes, such as battuta (steak tartare) or carne all’albese (thin-sliced raw beef).
White meat specialties include the Saluzzo “blond chicken,” the Carmagnola “grey rabbit” and the Morozzo capon: together with the freshwater delicacy Poirino tench (tinca gobba dorata), these are all Slow Food heritage foods. Piedmont also boasts a widespread culinary use of snails, especially in Cherasco and Borgo San Dalmazzo in the province of Cuneo, as well as of frogs, which are sustainably bred in the rice fields of Vercelli and Novara. With regard to sheep’s meat, especially prized are Sambuco lamb – bred for centuries in the Occitan Valleys of the province of Cuneo – Biella lamb and chamois-goat of the Val Vigezzo.
The region is further known for its variety of cured meats: from the DOP prosciutto crudo of Cuneo to the liver mortadella and blood sausages – such as mustardela – of the Waldensian Valleys, in the province of Turin. Pork salamis include the well-known douja (preserved in earthenware and immersed in lard) filetto baciato from the Valle Bormida, salampatata (mixed with potatoes) from the Cavanese region, typical baked salami, and Turgia salami. Also of note are Bra sausages – made from a base of beef – Moncalieri tripe, and the salted and aged hams of goat, lamb and chamois.