Thursday, March 22, 2018

pastries in Turin

When in Turin do like the Turinese and have pastries 😆

Even though pastries are common everywhere along the Italian boot, they differ in size, texture and naturally, flavors.

As in Turin people are rather understated and reserved, and in general, they like their actions and products to speak louder than their words, quality vs quantity and small vs large are among the local lifestyle rules. Consequently our paste or pastries are bite size, tiny and highly varied to help bridging the coffee/tea break and the aperitif time.

Turinese usually get  tray of pastries to carry home for their Sunday lunch or to their friends' for any celebrations. Pastries are usually bought by 100 grams or etto (100 grams = 1 etto/hg) or by pieces that will be weighted anyway. The hard part is picking the pastries!

a reg cannolo in Turin is 7cm/3.5in long

As soon as you set foot in a Turin pastry shop you will soon realize that cannoli take  whole different meaning here. The less known northern Italian cannoli (aka "the real cannoli" for the Northerners...) are closer to a cream horn made with puff pastry.
The filling is generally made of egg custard, zabajone, chocolate or pistacchio and one extremity is covered in local chopped hazelnuts.

Up: chocolate funghetti, down: "healthy pastries" with fruit

Even if you are already familiar with other Italian regions, you might not know about our funghetti or little chocolate mushrooms: choux pastry mushroom shaped pastries, dusted in high quality cocoa powder.

some bignole

A super traditional pastry type is bignole or tiny cream puffs topped with a colored glaze whose color matches their filling that can basically be all sorts of custards (egg, hazelnut, pistacchio, chocolate, zabajone, rum, you name it).

cream puffs with pastry size cannolo

Small cream puffs or choux chantilly overflowing with whipped cream and chocolate whipped cream are another popular pastry. If you are lucky you can even find the chantilly with custard in the lower choux topped with whipped cream for an even more decadent pleasure 😋

And then, we also have "healthy pastries" made with fruit. As a friend of ours used to say: if a dessert or sweet doesn't have chocolate, then it has fruit. If it has fruit it's healthy, if it is healthy, then it is  medicine 😂

healthy pastries with Northern and Southern cannolis

These healthy pastries are real patisserie masterpieces: gorgeous to look at and amazing to savor. Unfortunately their aesthetic perfection makes them hard to select... but hopefully, you can get a new tray of pastries everyday when you are here in Turin.

Finally we can't omit the cookies - dry pastries or paste secche in Italian.
We extensively wrote about most kinds in our Piedmont cookies section on this blog, yet we still feel the need to remind you to get  couple etti aka 2-300 gr whenever you see them.

Brutti ma buoni, baci di dama or lady's kisses, torcetti and cornmeal cookies don't need to be refrigerated, pair perfectly with all wines and liquors, gelato, tea, coffee and chocolate!
Besides pastry shops, you can also find them in any bakery and sometimes, grocery stores sell industrial versions of some of these cookies too.

Naturally we recommend you to get a mixed tray of both fresh pastries and cookies to enjoy with  a nice glass of chilled wine.
Click here for 5 wines to have during hot weather and here for some bubbly ones.

Traveling means getting to know the local customs and the local cuisine, no doubt our pastries scream vidaroyal as much as our wines 😎

For our tour information please, e-mail:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

5 Turin tips

We are often asked the following questions about how to organize your trip over to Turin so today, we are answering to all of you!

Palazzo Scaglia di Verrua, Renaissance in Turin, see if you can find it!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Sweet life at the Turin's Lab

Let's face it, in the Italian tidy meal schedule, snacking and brunching don't traditionally fit in. Of all the Italian cities, in Turin finding a good tea time place is a task, our favorite is still Clarissa in Piazza Vittorio Veneto 😎

But just a couple blocks away, there is a magic door, you open it and instantly become Alice in Wonderland, celebrating your very merry unbirthday!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

our curry rice

As per our followers' request, we are sharing our 2018 flu go to rice recipe.
As at Turin Epicurean Capital we drink quite a lot of tea it is rather unusual we fall sick or catch the flu, apparently though, this year's strain has been rather virulent and, as we are burning the candle on both sides, we fell sick too.

Fever, cough, mucus, shivers, the ever-ending exhaustion feeling, the list of symptoms is long and we decided to kick it out of our system with some true soul food packed with all powerful ingredients: our curry rice with raisins and chopped hazelnuts just for a Piedmont twist 😜

This recipe is perfect for all the times you have no strength, will or time to cook something highly nutritious.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Mombaruzzo amaretti

Many of you might be familiar with the Amaretto liqueur and the amaretti cookies, but have you ever tried our Piedmont amaretti di Mombaruzzo?

First of all Mombaruzzo is a picturesque hamlet in the Asti area and this automatically makes us think of green hills, vineyards, renaissance castles, narrow and steep lanes, brick towers and a cute little piazza. Most def it is worth a visit, especially if you bake or are a cookie lover 😉

Legend has it that at the end of the 1700, Francesco Moriondo, bursar of the royal park of La Mandria (near the Royal Palace of Venaria) fell in love with one of the royal pastry chefs, a Sicilian lady. Her specialty was a cake made with almonds.
Once they left the court duties they moved back to Mombaruzzo where Francesco was born and opened a small pastry shop where they started selling a new kind of cookie: soft and elegantly bitter thanks to the almonds.

Amaretto in Italian means a bit bitter because this is how the first fans of these cookies defined them: good and a slightly bitter.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

the Romans in Turin

Once visitors make it over, virtually everybody falls in love with Turin, its elegant architecture and rational structure - a legacy of the Roman times. The ancient Roman military camp on whose grid the Turin's downtown developed together with the Palatine Towers are the local Roman souvenirs to remind everyone that Turin has a long history!

the Palatine Towers with the statue of Julius Caesar

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Gianduia = Turin

Everybody knows Gianduia as the Turin's chocolate, but what does this name mean and who is Gianduia?

As we are approaching the Mardi Gras celebrations that closes the Carnival season in Italy, we felt the need to put all the puzzle pieces together: chocolates, Brachetto wine, Mardi Gras and Commedia dell'Arte 😎

Back in the Middle Ages, before actors where professionals, there were groups of people who impersonated characters and stereotypes and acted in the Italian piazzas. As there was no script, they usually improvised and took advantage of the regional dialects to add color to their interpretations.
This is very shortly how each Italian town got to be symbolized by a theatrical character who summed up in him or her the ways of his or her city.

Certainly, back in the 1200 - 1700, politically correctness wasn't an issue and little by little shows were organized where all these 'characters' acted together amplifying their own local stereotypes. Naturally these plays were funny, they were comedies and because they reflected the core of the Italian culture - at a time when Italy was still divided into many tiny kingdoms, republics, states - this is what came to be called Commedia dell'Arte - the true Italian essence of the art of the comedy.