PIEDMONT AND CHOCOLATE
PIEDMONT and chocolate has a long history. Everyone knows the brand Nutella, but few people know that Nutella is a part of Piedmont ( Italian ) really.
Here we are in Piedmont, Barolo region.
The province of Piedmont is not only known for its chocolate treats.
There are hidden gems in this area that we need to explore. You should be able to find time to explore.
One of them is Barolo. Within the sun-drenched hills of Barolo on fertile volcanic grounds lie some of the best-kept secrets amongst Wine connoisseurs: Barolo wines.
The hills are the most scenic come after a long stretch of flat landscape that stretches from Lombardia up to Barolo.
The scenic landscape is a jewel within Italy by itself. It’s winegrowers know of the advantages that these hills bring: Lots of sun and fertile soil.
Most prices wines
As a result, the wines of Barolo are the most priced in the world. Barolo is considered to be amongst the world’s first wines, a Bottle of Barolo classic standard can be purchased for about 50 Bucks here.
One should be able to purchase an average good bottle for about 100 U.S.$. Good wine and a known practice by wine connoisseurs.
Don’t feel shy to enter into a wine growers estate and ask to taste the house wines. Wine growers are friendly people generally. Their hard work is rewarded generously during a reasonable period.
Italy – post war period
After world war II, Italy was forced to rebuild its destroyed infrastructure, not only the physical construction, but also the lifestyle and production of almost all consumer items.
This paste mixture of chocolate and hazelnut was something to be enjoyed often, and soon became known under the name Nutella.
Piedmont – Barolo region
In the Northwestern Piedmont region of Italy Pietro Ferrero decided in 1946 that his future belonged to chocolate. With his brother Giovanni the master confectioner opened a laboratory in Alba.
Chocolate was usually sold only as a rare gift or treat for special occasions. The first delicacy to be developed was Pasta Gianduja.
Alba – Nutella city
By the early 1950’s, Michelle Ferrero, son of Pietro, took over what had become an industrial production facility. After the worldwide acceptance of Nutella (it is said to outsell peanut butter) Ferrero introduced Kinder Chocolates and Tic-Tac mints.
20 years popularity
In twenty years these products were extremely popular in Europe and became known all over the world. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Tic-Tac was introduced to the United States.
Piedmont Production center
Shortly after, state of the art production facilities were built there that equaled the factories then in Italy, Germany and France.
Best selling product: mints
Quickly the new Ferrero Rocher line of high end chocolates joined the other quality products and earned increased popularity. Known more in Europe, Ferrero also produces the Mon Cheri and Pocket Coffee products, but it is expected these will win world wide demand very quickly.
Mon Cheri – my darling
Chocolate found its way to Italy in the 16th century once Spanish importers brought it back from Mexico and the New World. In 16th century Europe, as there, it was served as a hot drink, and was reserved for the wealthy or privileged.
Turin Italy – showcase of chocolate
Today in Turin, a yearly celebration lets Piedmont showcase their products and honor this “food of the gods.” In the Piazza Vittorio Veneto visitors will be graced with all things chocolate.
Best hot chocolate in Italy
A cup of local hot chocolate is thick enough to stand a spoon in, and will banish all thoughts of the flavored milk you might have tasted. When solid chocolate was invented at the end of the 18th century, a new world of flavor combinations opened.
Mixture of Hazelnut paste and chocolate
Today as then, a regional favorite of Piedmont is a mixture of hazelnut paste and chocolate.
Specialties have been created by several famous chocolate producers in Turin, and whether you visit a shop, factory or family owned sweet shop, they will amaze and delight your senses.
Liquor filled – kisses of Hazelnut and chocolate
Gelato (grown up ice cream), Alpino (liqueur filled), Baci (“kisses” of hazelnut and chocolate), Torta Sabauda (Turin’s own very rich frosted cake) and chef’s creations like roast venison with chocolate sauce will satisfy even the most ravenous chocolate monster within.
Purchase a Chocopass in Turin
To make sure, purchase a “ChocoPass” from the local tourist office and you will sample a wide range of delicacies from several locations.
Wineries and chocolates in Barolo
Chocolate events held in many of the wineries, shops or restaurants let the visitor learn how to pair wine and chocolate. Bitter chocolates blend deliciously with local Barolo wine.
Milk and dark flavor
Every chocolate from milk to darkest flavors will combine with a particular local wine ranging from young fruity reds to aged, full bodied vintages.
For the connoisseur and knowledgable of ‘ arte d’ vivre ‘ – lover of life, Piedmont may well be a heaven on earth.