Surrounded by the Alps, Piedmont is made up of mountains along with an extensive area of hills and plains. Bordering Switzerland and France, the region is true to the meaning of its name ‘Foot of the mountain’.
Rich in natures resources and landscapes Piedmont is perfect to mix leisure and culture. A city which is filled of contrasts (old and new) is Torino, recognised as home of operations for automobile manufacturers Lancia and Fiat.
Due to the regions close proximities to France and Switzerland, the dishes heavily rely on butter (opposed to olive oil) for its recipes, however the exception to the rule is the use of white truffle oil – Piedmont has the ideal climate to grow truffles and treated with great care as it is quite expensive.
Being tucked away in the Alps, is the perfect climate for growing grains like wheat, corn and most importantly rice. There are endless rice fields in the provinces of Novara and Vercelli. Needless to say, rice plays a large part in many of the dishes they eat on a daily basis. Duw to the cooler climate the ‘hearty’ types of food are ideal.
Cattle thrive in Piedmont, and the dairy industry is strong, injecting a love of cheeses, cream, milk and butter into its dishes. Though beef is an important element of cooking in Piedmont, the residents hold a particular fondness for game meats hunted in the forested hills. "Grissini" (usually served as an antipasti), is Turin's traditional breadsticks now common all over Italy.
Piemonte produces large numbers of high quality hazelnuts which are perfect to use in cakes, pastries, torrone and chocolates. Local hazelnuts are used in all kinds of sweets including gianduja – a Piemontese specialty of chocolate-hazelnut cream. The city’s excellence is crafting artisan chocolates, which has no doubt been influenced by its close proximity to Switzerland. Often referred to the ‘Italian Chocolate Capital’ Turin is the birthplace of Gianduiotto, Caffarel’s most famed product. Delicately wrapped in gold foil and made of chocolate and hazelnuts, the Gianduiotto has become a symbol of the quality, elegance and tradition that has made Caffarel a household name throughout Italy. For the production of Gianduiotto, the other important ingredient is hazelnuts, and Caffarel chooses to use PGI Piedmont Hazelnuts (Protected Geographical Indication) from the Langhe area
Local desserts include Zabaglione, a decadent concoction of egg yolks, sugar and marsala wine, served with cookies and, sometimes, with whipped cream, perfect for those cold Piemontese winter mornings
A wine lovers paradise Piemonte is the place the home to D.O.C classified wines including, Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbara and Dolcetto. Due to the hilly conditions it is perfect for farming most grapes .