Thursday, December 22, 2016

5 Holiday wines

For all our friends, Piedmont lovers and Italian wine fans here's our short list to make any celebration the best with our Piedmont wines!
These are THE wines we drink in our homes with our families and friends over the Holidays and to celebrate our most important days, so take note and look them up at your local wine shop. Remember to stock up on a few bottles next time you hop over to Piedmont ūüėČ

Friday, December 16, 2016

brutti ma buoni

Brutti ma Buoni or ugly but good in Italian are basically hazelnut meringue cookies often eaten during the Holidays.
As they are very easy to make and to modify they come in many variants all around the Italian boot and you can further personalize our Piedmontese original recipe.



Thursday, December 8, 2016

the shoe artisan

Turin is full of secrets however, there is a name that is quickly moving through the grapevine. More than a name, it's a professional title and a downtown street name: the Via Carlo Alberto shoemaker - like the name of his website.

inside Beppe's shop


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Chocolate and perfumes

December 2016 in Turin opened with L'Essenziale - the essential, a special event devoted to perfumes. The most interesting presentation for us epicureans was tonight at the international bookshop Luxemburg near Piazza Carignano.

Inside Libreria Luxemburg, Roberto Drago and Guido Gobino

Thursday, December 1, 2016

behind the black raven feather

how the Alpini uniform changed over the years, left to right: 19th century, WWI, current. By Alberto Bonis 



























Fashion has always had a special love for feathers and definitely, the Italian military uniforms particularly respect them. As in many cultures around the world, birds are symbolic animals and this is even more true for Alpini - the special Italian Alpine military corps.
Looking through the history and at their spirit, the Alpini's black raven feather, sticking out of their felt hat, just fits perfectly with them and Italy.
Like the raven in many aboriginal cultures around the world, the Alpini endurance and sense of duty is so great even Bialetti made an Italian coffee pot with the feather to honor and remember them!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

cornmeal cookies

All over northern Italy we have plenty of corn consequently, besides polenta, in Piedmont we also make traditional cookies with cornmeal, or in Italian, paste di meliga :P

delish tea flavored cornmeal cookies made by Tastinglife

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Adriana's inspiring purses

Ho the things Adriana's mind can create!

key words this week are: RE.generate and ECO fashion and what does our friend fashion tailor - as she doesn't like to be labeled "designer" - mean?

handmade Adriana Delfino clutch

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Nonno's grignolino

The Moncalvo area in the Monferrato wine dristrict is rather rich of farms and interesting locations for both wine lovers and foodies, therefore our tour had to visit at our friend Stefano's family vineyard. Yes, Stefano is one lucky man whose grandpa had a beautiful country house, the kind you only see on decor and design magazines and he also happened to own the "perfect vineyard"!

Stefano Girola of Poderi Girola winery showing us la Sossala

Friday, November 4, 2016

Queen goat

While in the Monferrato wine district, our friend Luca introduced us to his neighbors who have a Roccaverano goat farm!

cute goat sign point to the capra regina farm

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Moncalvo, the tiniest town

Our Monferrato tour this time brought us to the "Town of Moncalvo". Yes, tiny Moncalvo in the Monferrato wine district - roughly 3000 inhabitants - is officially a town since 1705. Who knew??!

Moncalvo main piazza isn't fully horizontal 

Friday, October 28, 2016

natural produce farm

We took advantage of our Monferrato trip to meet with our friend Luca Scrivanti. Luca needed to get some natural produce for his business: picturesque Cascina Rosa, literally a pink b&b on the top of a hill - you can just imagine the panorama! 
So we jumped into his car and after driving through wild woods - that once were vineyards and driving up a gravel road we arrived to Cascina Krylia.

driving up to Cascina Krylia, Raksha the farm dog is waiting for us 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

organic Fassone farm

Just like the Mediterranean scrub is unique, so the Monferrato wine district is unique territory in the world: its landscape is highly varied, not simply steep hills or plains, but a mix of them both, uncultivated woods, vineyards, wheat fields, hazelnut groves, animal farms and vegetable farms. 
Every season changes its colors and its atmosphere: in the summer, days are literally endless while in the fall, haze and rain make the best time to savor its rich local specialties.
Being just at about 1h driving from both Turin and the Milan Malpensa international airport, it is the ideal destination to enjoy amazing food, outstanding wines, castles and art.

Azienda Agricola Monfrin on the Monferrato hills and its semi-wild cows
When our winemaker friend Stefano Girola invited us over to see his grandfather's land, we didn't think it twice and accepted right away! We were curious as to what this area has to offer in terms of authenticity and nature, something that could bring us directly to the local philosophy of life of the residents.
Stefano and his daddy showed us around and introduced us to their neighbors: our first stop was a real organic Slow Food certified fassone cow farm.
Although we are not great carnivores, we were quite intrigued to find out more about the fassone aka the native Piedmontese cow.

Piedmontese fassone cows
This is how we found out why culinary speaking - it is so highly selected: because it extremely lean and low in cholesterol!
No wonder, every body all over the Piedmont brags about it, restaurants highlight it in their menus and residents look for it at the butcher's. Kids love it too because it is particularly tender and it has a delicious flavor.

Giulia Micco petting one of her 30 cows
Naturally, the farms, the breeding methods and the animals' food are always under scrutiny and especially in Piedmont, where the Slow Food movement was born, people are really into "where their food is from and how it is produced". 
The Italian legal system doesn't make things any easier and it has rather strict requirements to issue the organic certifications; producers and farmers must jump through MANY fire hoops to comply with the regulations, and the whole process takes years.

Giulia Micco welcomed us on her family farm: Azienza Monfrin at 10 minute driving from Moncalvo.
It felt like being inside a country life children's book. In fact, this farm is part of many educational programs and Giulia is used to show it to kids and international visitors who look for outstanding and sustainable farming methods. 
The 120 cows, calves, oxen and bulls are fed only farm produced straw, cereals and hay and they are all free to wander on the farm, grazing wherever they prefer. This makes her farm semi-wild and the calves stay with their moms till they are 7-8 months.
This is not a milk farm because the fassone cows don't produce much milk, only 20/25 liters each and, as a regular practice, Giulia's family leaves it all to the calves.
If they happen to have a cow that has extra milk, like it can happen in the summer, they keeps it for their own family consumption.

Giulia's farm doesn't kill calves, if they did it, they would never get oxen. Also, as you can see in the picture, each pregnant cow has a tag with her name and the name of her calf's father. Everything on this farm happens rather naturally, even the deliveries; the veterinarian is called only for emergencies.
When  cow turns 26, she usually leaves the farm because older cows and oxen usually make larger calves and then the pregnancies and the deliveries are risky and can't be natural.

Azienda Agricola Monfrin produces its own cereals, hay and straw 
Visiting Giulia's farm, petting the calves and seeing the grain elevator was like going to another dimension, faraway from our city life. When we buy, cook and eat, we rarely think about the animal and how it is raised but these are critical issues we should all inquire about.

Fratelli Micco butcher shop in Moncalvo
Before lunch we visited Giulia's parents butcher shop in Moncalvo.
Besides the Slow Food certification, their fassone meat has won hundreds of awards and their shop was awarded the best butcher's in Italy!!
As we don't eat much meat, we can't really tell you personally how good it is, but we can certainly assure you that the animals are raised happily and free; they are very well cared for during every stage of their lives, with a great attention to any detail.

just a selection of the many awards, and picture with Carlo Petrini, the Slow Food founder
We'll never tire to repeat that in Italy, when an animal product is organic, it also is the food, the medical care and the area where the animal is born and raised. 
Even if you aren't a carnivore, you won't regret visiting Azienda Agricola Monfrin and seeing the cows, their calves, the oxen and the bulls grazing freely on the farm property!





Thursday, October 13, 2016

Royal freetime around Turin

Today, our royal palace quest brings us to Venaria, Turin's northern suburb where there is La Venaria Reale or the Royal Palace of Venaria and to Stupinigi, in the southern suburb, where there is La Palazzina di Caccia or the Savoy hunting lodge.

The Royal Palace of Venaria

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

easy peasy pampavia

Pampavia are among the most simple and easiest cookies in the world. They come straight from the old time country life of Ceresole D'Alba, the uppest municipality in the Roero wine district, on the Unesco vineyard covered hills.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Jim and Julia's agnolotti

Here's a second guest post by Jim Dunlop our proud Scottish friend and guest to Turin Epicurean Capital 2016 with his lovely wife Julia - proud Lancastrian.
You can read Jim's first guest post about how to pair Lake Orta with Piedmontese wines here. In fact, When they participated to the third edition of Turin Epicurean Capital, they both said that what really makes our regional food and wines unique is the landscape: our secret ingredient ;)
Take careful notes of the places they went for Julia's birthday, the specialties they enjoyed and the wines they savored!!
Interact with them on Twitter about their many interests, especially: Italy, art, books, Toro (soccer), wine and food!!
Jim: jimofayr
Julia: juliadarwen


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Asti's Golden Pitcher

September is the month to be in Asti, Piedmont, NW Italy - the town where Asti Spumante the delish Italian bubbly wine is from, because there are many food and wine events culminating with the oldest Italian palio, in the third week-end (yes, older than the Siena one)!
The weeks before the palio there are: the Douja D'Or wine festival and the Sagra delle Sagre or Food Festival of the Food Festivals, definitely a name that resonates with many foodies:P

In the local dialect Douja D'Or indicates the traditional terracotta pitcher where wine was served, d'or means golden. This is a national wine competition that takes place every year for about 10 days in Asti and that awards the best Italian wines paired with the best local foods. 
Only DOC and DOCG wines can take part and Douja is a truly epicurean competition as the wines are submitted anonymously to the expert tasters who judge them for their sensorial qualities: color, bouquet and aroma. Only the top scoring wines are awarded the golden pitcher - Douja D'Or - a title approved by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Reine's taste of Turin

Today we are sharing our friend Reine's guest post about her recent visit here in Turin and her fun itinerary!
Be warned: you'll want to follow her steps soon:D


Reine Dugas Bouton teaches English at Southeastern Louisiana University.  She has taken students to Italy for summer study abroad for ten years and has published academic writing, fiction, and nonfiction. She documents her travels on her blog and Twitter account. 
She lives in New Orleans with her son, and her dog and cat too.







Wednesday, September 7, 2016

vida royal on the river

Today we'll tell you about the Turin's castles on or near the Po river: Villa della Regina or the Queen's Villa and the Valentino Castle in the Valentino Park.

Villa della Regina - Queen's Villa

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Krumiri cookies

Today we are talking about another royal Italian cookie: Krumiri.
You can easily find them everywhere in Italy, even in grocery stores, however, the traditional ones are from Casale Monferrato, in Piedmont and they are sold in traditional red tins.
There is only one kind of Krumiri, no variants, besides the industrial ones, of course, and they can make a delicious souvenir!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

military feathered hat

Italy is definitely one of the few countries where fashion has always made its high style way also in the military. Military uniforms have always had a certain allure but what about the sense of endurance and pride a bersagliere hat still conveys to Italians nowadays?

Bersaglieri have such a supernatural endurace, they almost fly

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Turin's downtown castles

Piazza Castello: Palazzo Reale - the Royal Palace and Palazzo Madama - the Queen's Palace
Thanks to its long tradition of capital of the Savoy kingdom, Turin hosts many royal palaces located downtown, on the river, on the hills and in the suburb.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Torcetti cookies

Food and wine in Piedmont are a real lifestyle, after all Piedmont is the Italian top wine producer, cheese making region and homeland to Slow Food and all food sustainability philosophies and... it also produces a high variety of cookies!

Let's face it, cookies in their simplicity have the high power to make a bad day into a good one when we dunk them in wine or to start our day in the best way, when we have some for breakfast!

Cookies are easy to make, thus have the big power of making us feel at home away from home. When professionally made they bring us back in time and can also add a touch of royalty to any coffee break.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pietro Micca:Turin's hero

How Pietro Micca saved Turin from the French in 1706. Drawing by Alberto Bonis








Turin downtown resonates with history and anecdotes; and as Turin is a bit like Manhattan with many things to do even for kids, it is easy to get intrigued by the many fascinating stories and museums.

Pietro Micca is one of our local heroes, one of the central streets in Turin, and of course, a very interesting underground museum too!!


Today, Via Pietro Micca is a diagonal  street full of shops connecting Piazza Castello, the castle square, to Piazza Solferino up to Bar Norman, on the way to the Porta Susa station.    
It owes its name to Pietro Micca the guy who sacrificed his life to save Turin from the French siege in 1706.

Back in 1700, Turin was much smaller compared to today and it fit in a walled area on the model of the medieval fortified towns. The citadel was located in a slightly higher area or it was as series of towers to make sure nobody could enter the town.
The Turin's citadel had the shape of a walled pentagon with cannons placed at the corners to chase any potential intruder.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

TurinEpi 16 thanks


We would like to take a moment to thank all the people that made Turin Epicurean Capital 2016 possible and whose help brought us to the prime time news on the regional branch of the Italian national TV on June 22.

Friday, July 8, 2016

TurinEpi Fri 24 2016

This third edition of Turin Epicurean Capital finished on June 24th: Saint John the Baptist day! 
Being Saint John Turin's patron saint, our guests could take advantage of the 4th-of-July style fireworks and celebrations ;)



Monday, July 4, 2016

spicing up Piedmont cuisine

On June 23 at 3pm the Turin Epicurean Capital cooking class taught by Patrizia Nobile of Tastinglife and Chef Lamberto Guerrer, started at the Associazione Cuochi Torino.
Patrizia and Lamberto decided to put together their know-how and offer a class about the best of the Piedmontese cuisine and a couple of ingredients ordinary in other world's cuisines but yet totally unknown in Italy.

Chef Lamberto Guerrer, ACT presdent and Patrizia Nobile of Tastinglife

Friday, July 1, 2016

TurinEpi Thurs 23 2016

The second day of Turin Epicurean Capital 2016 took started with the morning round table hosted by Sonia Casta√Īeda Piacente, sitting in the far right in the picture below.


From left to right: Marcello Oliviero, Eleanor Fletcher and Sue Hepburn. The interpreters from left to right: Dalila Brancone, Carlotta Rinaudo and Anna Zammarchi.

This round table had guests from four different countries: Italy, Australia, the UK and the USA, with different backgrounds and experiences and yet something in common: two are currently residing in Turin and two are now living and making business in the Langhe wine district, in Piedmont.

Turin author Marcello Oliviero accepted to take part to Turin Epicurean Capital to share his +10 year of vegetarian life style. A serious carnivore he converted to vegetarianism in a moment of poor health, stress and crisis without realizing how such a simple change would upset the eating habits of his whole family who suddenly were forced to modify their menus to accommodate his dietary needs.
Becoming a vegetarian gave Marcello a whole new perspective on life and food, its origin and his making processes. With this new awareness he would never go back to his prior carnivorous status because he is feeling much better and happier. He also underlined how Italians are lucky to have access to fresh seasonal and local food and how easy it is to track back the origin of our food.



Sue Hepburn shared her discovery of seasonal food in Italy. After spending years around the world, Sue and her family moved to a truffle farm in the Langhe hills, in Dogliani  on the Unesco wine hills. Before coming to Italy her food awareness was awaken by the birth of her kids and the need to provide good quality food, however it was only in Piedmont that she re-discovered old flavors and the authenticity of natural foods. Shopping at the local market and following the seasonal cycles has literally started a new life style. Moreover working with the land and homeschooling her life has quite changed at all levels. Surprisingly to many Italians, a food that has grown on her over the years in Italy is pasta. Before her Italian life, she hated pasta the way it was cooked out of Italy. Now she craves it and loves that nice Parmesan cheese sprinkle that adds that extra flavor to the dish!




Like many of us, Eleanor Fletcher never really paid attention to food till she met her wine making husband at the university. Working in the vineyard, in contact with the soil and the vines, he had a deep sense of what nature gives us. She added that living in Australia people are often quite spoiled because they have access to high quality food, fresh produce and great fruit, however, moving to Italy she discovered new varieties of tomatoes and new ways of cooking vegetables, like zucchini that she had never had before. Pasta was a great addition to her diet too, not only because it is rather quick to fix but also for its versatility and naturally, flavor! Her first hand life experience is one of the things that she aims to share with non-Italian customers here in Piedmont.

  


An adopted Turinese from Dallas, TX, Sonia Casta√Īeda Piacente shared her expat and blogger experience. As a Latina growing up in the USA food has also carried a cultural value, the same one she is now transmitting and sharing with her bicultural girls. 
In Italy, her transition from fully processed food to the market bought ingredients resulted in a major weight loss during her first year in Turin: Sonia lost 20lb! Cooking from scratch on a daily basis and having an Italian husband has quickly given her the Italian mentality and the need of seasonality and simple preparations. 
At the beginning, these were the stages she was documenting on her blogs; now, she believes in the educational power of Social Media that not only can be used to create a community, but can also show what ingredients to look for and how to use them.

After the round table, we took advantage of the walking distance between the San Giuseppe theater and one of the royal coffee shops in down town Turin: Caffè Fiorio, in Via Po.



Despite its central location and history, Caffè Fiorio has quite a large and affordable buffet and menu, plus its famous gelato - once the best in town, and still very very delicious!
Yes in Turin 15 Euros go a long way, not only for apericena!



So this is how we spent two hours in the cool shade, under a crystal chandelier, chatting and eating before heading off to the Turin Epicurean Capital cooking class about Piedmont cuisine twisted with the Tastinglife's spices, at the Associazione Cuochi Torino.






Monday, June 27, 2016

TurinEpi Wed 22 2016

The third edition of Turin Epicurean Capital this year took place on the Saint John the Baptist week because it is Turin's patron saint and we have lots of nice celebrations organized so we thought of sharing with all our guests. 

Lucia Hannau introducing the third edition of Turin Epicurean Capital

Monday, June 20, 2016

TurinEpi 16 day 3

This 2016 edition of Turin Epicurean Capital will end on Thursday, June 24.



The third round table will start at 11am at Teatro San Giuseppe in Via Doria 18/A, near the Porta Nuova station.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Tasting Life in Turin

Our friends Patrizia Nobile and Giuliana Ferrero really know how to cuddle our souls, tickling our hearts and reminding us of details of our best memories.
All we need to do is showing up at TastingLife, their Alice-in-Wonderland-esque shop in downtown Turin, in Via Monte di Pieta' 16, near Piazza Castello and we'll be teleported to a different dimension!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

TurinEpi 16 day 2

Thursday, June 23 2016 will be the second day of the third edition of Turin Epicurean Capital.

The second round table will start at 11am at Teatro San Giuseppe in Via Doria 18/A, near the Porta Nuova station.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

TurinEpi 16 day 1

Wednesday, June 22 2016 will be the first day of the third edition of Turin Epicurean Capital.

The first round table will start at 11am at Teatro San Giuseppe in Via Doria 18/A, near the Porta Nuova station.


Friday, June 3, 2016

TurinEpi 2016: -20 giorni!

La terza edizione di Turin Epicurean Capital inizia tra 3 settimane!

Come per le passate edizioni, si svolgera' a Torino, l'unica citta' italiana nella lista delle 52 destinazioni da visitarsi nel 2016 secondo il New York Times!
Poiche' l'obbiettivo di Turin Epicurean Capital e' condividere col mondo Torino e il Piemonte tramite i sensi e lo stile di vita, l'evento e' bilingue italiano e inglese e le tavole rotonde che si svolgono la mattina sono aperte al pubblico gratuitamente.

Il 22, 23, 24 Giugno alle 11, presso il Teatro San Giuseppe, in Via Doria, 18 si terra' una tavola rotonda con food e travel bloggers, autori, professionisti del campo culinario e turistico provenienti da tutto il mondo per condividere le loro esperienze e punti di vista sull'enogastronomia.

Su questo link troverete la lista dei partecipanti.

Dopo ogni tavola rotonda, i nostri ospiti andranno alla scoperta della Torino epicurea visitando ed assaggiando le delizie dei nostri bar, ristoranti e gelaterie!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

TurinEpi 2016 countdown

The third edition of Turin Epicurean Capital is coming up in less than a month!

Like in the past editions, it will take place in Turin the only Italian city that made it to the New York Times 52 places to visit in 2016!
As we would like to share our city and region with you together with our food, wine culture and way of life, Turin Epicurean Capital is a bilingual event and everybody is welcome to the morning round tables. 

On June 22nd, 23rd and 24th at 11am in Teatro San Giuseppe in the Turin's La Salle campus, food and travel bloggers, authors, culinary and tourism professionals coming from all over the world will share their views and experience about food.

You can have a look at the 2016 guests on this link.

After each round table, our guests will enjoy Turin's the food and wine scene, enjoying our coffee shops, gelato, restaurants and bars!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Museums to see in Turin

Through the centuries Turin has always been one of the main centers where creative minds, intellectuals and innovators converged to. Maybe because of its clean 18th century architecture and polished elegance, the average Turin resident is generally quite into arts and always on the look for mental stimulation, literally of any kind. 
So, it makes sense that Turin hosts many unique museums with incredible large collections you won't find in any other city! 

These are the top 5 musuems you can't miss out on your first visit to Turin!

Friday, May 13, 2016

6 wine shops in Turin

All wine lovers of the world! The first Italian word - after vino or wine, of course! - you must learn in Italian is: enoteca or wine shop ;)

Because we are always asked for wine shop recommendations, finally here you have our enoteca list. 
Many grocery stores all around Italy sell some good wines, some chains, especially the downtown branches in Turin, also have small winery ones, but if you are looking for some special boutique wines, then just go to one of the following places where we shop ourselves :D

Friday, May 6, 2016

5 gelaterias in Turin

Our daily gelato consumption is following the rising temperatures these days. To be honest in Turin, we have access to amazingly creamy gelatos and the four seasons aren't really a limit to our gelato cravings, in fact, we have gelato - read: a ton of gelato, all year round.
However, we must admit that when the weather gets warmer we can have more than one gelato a day...
So here follows a list of our top 5 favorite gelato places in Turin!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Valentino Park

Valentino Park = Turin's Central Park.

Medieval village inside the Valentino park in January

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ulderica Masoni a bijoux aficionada

Ulderica with Hermione and Gigi, her Chihuahua furkids
Back in November 2014, right before the Sar.To presentation, our friend Marcello Oliviero of the Maison Walter Dang, kindly introduced us to Ulderica Masoni THE luxury fashion authority in Turin!

As it is appropriate for a fashion expert, Ulderica wears many hats, one at the time and always with great style, thanks to her modelling experience. She's also very knowledgeable about fashion, design, art and history and owns a degree in law! 
Among her many activities, she is also the author of a luxury fashion blog written in Italian: Hermy & Mom and of the related SoMe accounts like Twitter, however, it is through Instagram and Facebook that you can enjoy her beautiful pictures even if you can't read Italian!

Ulderica is originally from Vercelli the rice town of Italy. She has always had a natural flare for fashion but her real love was the jewelry and in particular: earrings!
When she was 15, she got into "Lui Lei" - an accessories shop that sold the trendiest brands like Moschino (when Mr Moschino was still alive ;( ), Sharra Pagano and Ugo Correani. She had meant to buy a single pair of earrings and, like an Alice in the fashion Wonderland, that's when her career really started. That day she met the shop owner, who had had a career in fashion, and who gave Ulderica the opportunity to start working as a model too, to get to know the fashion world first hand, and to get to know the key people in the business.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Food Parade in Mondovicino

All foodies, Piedmont visitors and residents, mark your calendars!

On April 22-25 and April 29-May 1 at the Mondovicino outlet near Turin there will be Food Parade a special event entirely devoted to street food, cooking shows, charities and with the collaboration of the local HTM high school whose students will take part to a cooking contest.


In Italy we'll be enjoying 2 long week-ends which make it just the perfect occasion to spend some time savoring the most traditional street food coming from all over the boot, free concerts, free educational labs for kids and aperitifs!

Friday, April 8, 2016

6 Turin specialty shops

Italy is famous for its old style specialty shops and in Turin downtown you can still find many precious tiny ones that sell different things for different budgets.
So, we thought of presenting you 6 of the most unique ones, we are sure you'll enjoy them even only for the fact that even the Turin residents love them and you'll get an insight about the local life style too.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Lavazza: Turin coffee out of this world

Up your hand if you love Italian coffee?
Lavazza logo
How many brands of Italian coffee do you know?


Stop for a moment and think about Italians, their love for coffee and you will quickly understand how easily you can make any Italian feel at home just by offering the right cup of espresso ;)


As for you, no matter where you are, look around and chances are, you will see some Turin coffee brand. That's because after cars, sport, fashion, aperitifs and chocolate, Turin is also THE coffee trend-setting city of Italy and one of the Turin coffee brands you might happen to like and find everywhere is Lavazza

Friday, March 25, 2016

Lagostina pots from Piedmont!!

The Italian pleasure of cooking well
As Easter is quickly coming by and traditionally Italians spend it at home, eating with their families delicious traditional foods, it comes to our minds that another famous Italian brand related to cooking and food is actually from Piedmont!!
Lagostina is def the top Italian epicurean cookware brand from the same steel area around our beautiful Lake Orta, just like Alessi and the Bialetti coffee pot.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Irish pubs in Turin

Whether you are celebrating St Paddy's or are just a beer lover and a rugby fan, once again Turin will amaze you! In fact, there are lots of pubs in this city besides a Celtic festival in Lingotto.

All downtown Turin is studded by pubs, mostly Irish but there are also a few English, Scottish and even Aussie ones. The picturesque thing is that pubs or (American style) bars in Italy also offer a great food selection because, as we all know, Italians love to eat well as they drink, and getting publicly wasted isn't socially appreciated.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Casa Jasmina techy buffets

Just a week ago, Casa Jasmina in Turin, hosted the Share Festival jury who selected the 6 winners of the 2016 "House Guests" edition. For the occasion Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and MoMA design curator Paola Antonelli were part of the jury together with the other organization members.
Famous cyberpunk author, Bruce Sterling who is also part of the Casa Jasmina project with Massimo Banzi, THE Arduino man, happens to be "quite the Turin Epicurean fan" and this is how we ended up giving our epicurean touch to this magic day!


Turin Epicurean Capital chef and culinary specialist, Benedetta Oggero aka Miss Bee designed the menus following the Share Festival and Casa Jasmina directions. 
In fact there were two big buffets to share the event with different guests at different levels from local council members, sponsors and journalists to local artists.
Casa Jasmina aims to be the pole of innovative technology - meant for everyday life - and the best Italian design; at the same time, every year, the Share Festival awards the best examples of digital art enhancing the vision of a futuristic lifestyle that is at the same time, rather epicurean;)

Thank you, Gilberto Conti for your damigiana and maker expertise!
As Casa Jasmina is made of makers and it's located in Piedmont, the real Italian wine country, the wine served needed to be decanted from a real damigiana or demijohn
The research for a small size damigiana was rather long as usually the smallest ones come in 28 liters! However, we were lucky enough to get one of real Barbera 13%  plus some 12 liters of Cortese di Gavi, a delicious white wine from  the Monferrato wine district, here in Piedmont.

Both buffets were local and included seasonal ingredients; the lunch was lighter to allow the guests to go back to work, so to start, Miss Bee prepared a mix of raw vegetables and 3 dips the colors of the Italian flag!
The first dip was very delicate and white made of beans, cumin, tahini and lemon; one was green and strong and it included mint, parsley, anchovies, capers and balsamic vinegar. Finally the red one had tomatoes, carrots, celery and chili flakes.
The green one was especially appreciated :P


In every standing buffet, it's important to be able to eat bite size foods, therefore Miss Bee served vegetable quiches and vegetable muffin-size lasagna made with the first season asparagus and robiola cheese.
Following the Piedmontese tradition, the second course was a revisited beef roast a' la Cavour with an optional chicken liver sauce to pour on top!

The dessert saw Grandma Jasmina apple tartelettes with red fruits and a pie version topped with chopped hazelnuts and ho boy!! Everything was fresh and good but Miss Bee's cakes are always a winner!


Lunch quickly went by and soon it was dinner time right after Paola Antonelli and Samantha Cristoforetti's public appearance. Starting at 7:15pm, in a matter of minutes, Casa Jasmina was "Turin's bellybutton" aka the center of the city:D
People kept coming and eating enjoying once again Miss Bee's specialties and the wines!
We helped Miss Bee arranging a huge board covered in local cheeses and cured meats: Gorgonzola, artisan toma, goat cheese and fresh tomini cheeses shared their table corner with artisan salamis, honey, jam, dried fruits and nuts.


A Nebbiolo braised beef stracotto, or overcooked roast, waited just a few seconds on the table before being savored together with two loaves of polenta - another traditional Piedmontese food. 
As the guests kept coming, Miss Bee reached the 2kg porcini mushroom risotto: as she turned the stove off, a long line had already formed to get served and take seconds!
In the meantime, some guests were still enjoying Bee's crispy two carrot salad with orange and purple carrots topped with hazelnuts. 
Yes, as we told our Astronaut, Piedmont is famous for hazelnuts which is why we have been putting them everywhere, from pralines, to chocolate spreads and savory dishes. The top quality hazelnut is the "tonda gentile" aka round and gentle from the Langhe wine district! 


And finally, a huge gianduja chocolate pavolva made its royal appareance and... as quickly as it appeared, it magically disappeared together with mini gianduja meringues:P

What a magic day and what amazing menus!!
Miss Bee really went out of her way and even baked half the bread with her staple recipe :P

Our Web Chef Alberto Bonis and Benedetta Oggero aka Miss Bee



A special GRAZIE goes to Bruce Sterling for his constant support and for inviting us to share this very special occasion!

Bruce Sterling reading his welcome speech