Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pepino's pinguino gelato

Pepino logo with the royal seal as a symbol of royal supplier
Add the royal seal in the logo signaled Pepino as a gelato royal supplier

At Turin Epicurean Capital we are renown for being gelato connoisseurs because in fact, we all do have a real passion for gelato and ice cream in general.

Very few people though know that Turin is really a gelato destination and that even famous industrial brands are actually just selling a mere copy of what was born right here: il pinguino! 

Yes, il pinguino or the penguin is the chocolate covered gelato on a stick that was invented at the historical gelateria Pepino in Turin, where Turin Epicurean Capital 2015 ended its goodbye dinner on July 23.

In Turin and all over Piedmont, Pepino's gelato has always been a symbol and a favorite of the royals who repeatedly awarded it between 1910 and 1932. Yes in Turin, even the king liked gelato!

Savoy royal seal: 1925
What's the origin of Pepino's and its famous pinguino?

Legend has it that in 1884, Mr Domenico Pepino, a Neapolitan gelato maker came up to Turin and shortly established a successful vera gelateria artigiana - true artisan gelateria - as the sign stated on top of his Piazza Carignano business.
In 1916 Mr Pepino sold his gelateria and trademark to the Cavagnino family who still owes Pepino's and its products.

In 1939 the very first chocolate covered gelato on a stick was born and it was a real innovation since it could be eaten while strolling around the city center. In fact, up to that moment, gelato was only eaten sitting at a table, in a nice metal or glass bowl, with or without a cookie, in one of the many elegant cafés downtown.
From then on, every time you see a chocolate covered gelato on a stick you will know it's just a copy from Turin's Pepino's;)

historical pinguino wraps
Nowadays, pinguino keeps its artisan recipe and production even though you can easily find it everywhere in Italy and in a few cities out of Italy.
It comes in 5 outstanding flavors:
  • the classic or heavy cream 
  • coffee because Turin is the city of coffee
  • hazelnut because Piedmont is the hazelnut rich region
  • gianduia - the traditional chocolate flavor from Turin mixed with hazelnuts
  • violet to remind us of the aromas of our red wines 
  • mint because in Turin we love mint syrups and mint flavored drinks

A special mention is for Pepino's gelato and the overall café:
whenever you are in Turin, especially if you are tired, hot or cold, take your time to sit down in the peaceful Piazza Carignano, right in front of the very first Italian parliament, and fully savor a generous gelato cup. 

Pepino's gelato cream flavors are especially velvety and smooth, their chocolates are rich and decadent and we definitely recommend it for a number of flavors you will hardly find anywhere else, like:

  1. violet for its delicate scent and color, it does taste like the flower
  2. hazelnut, because even though in Turin there are many places who supposedly sell it, very very few taste like real hazelnuts, and Pepino's hazelnut gelato is definitely one of the few!
  3. bonet, the traditonal Piedmontese dessert made with chocolate and amaretto cookies
  4. green apple, crisp and healthy as real artisanal gelato always is

Pepino's affogato

If you were ever in need of an extra boost without giving gelato up, you can always order an affogato or a drowned gelato in espresso, and ho boy, it's good:P

Please note that Pepino also makes some gluten free and vegan flavors!

...since 1884, Turin's elite goes to... Pepino's luxury gelateria

A special thanks to:
  • Edoardo Cavagnino for hosting the Turin Epicurean Capital 2015 goodbye dessert and   
  • Chef Federico Bellitti for graciously receiving us on July 23 and telling us the story of Pepino's and its pinguino!

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