Turin is a city of pastry shops and historic cafes. It’s also the capital of the Slow Food movement. And visitors will also be delighted by pralines, chocolate and the city’s hot-chocolate-and-espresso drink called bicerin, a layered brew served in glass cups.
One of the best chocolate is a foil-wrapped mini-ingot called giandujotto.
This Turin delight has the flavour of roasted hazelnuts and a fruity tinge.
It’s as addictive as Nutella on bread. And if you didn’t already know this, Nutella was invented in Piedmont, the north western Italian region of which Turin is the capital.
Long before Nutella was released to the world in 1964, the blend of hazelnut and chocolate was a favourite treat.
Actually, during the 18th century, Turin was an international chocolate capital.
Chocolate producers in Turin exported chocolate to Austria, Switzerland, Germany and France. Even Swiss chocolate-makers came to Turin to learn how to make chocolate.
One of the reasons for Turin’s great chocolate is prized hazelnuts grow in the hills of the Alta Langa in southern Piedmont.
So chocolate and hazelnuts were combined to form Gianduja. It was named after the hat worn by puppet Gianduja. Gianduja was first introduced to Turin in 1865 by chocolate-maker Caffarel.
Guido Gobino – Turin’s chocolate king
These days, Guido Gobino is Turin’s chocolate king. His shop has a basement factory and is definitely worth visiting.
Gobino sells his chocolate around the world. Aside from giandujotti, his other signature products are amarissimi, which are disks of bitter chocolate mixed with ground cocoa and chocolate-coated ginger. Delicious!
Gobino’s giandujotti are milkless mini-sized chocolates with fruity flavours and Piedmont hazelnuts.
Another of Europe’s fabulous attractions awaits just across the border. The mountain town of Kleine Scheidegg is one of my favourite stops on the Jungfrau railway journey.