Tuesday, July 16, 2019

TurinEpi19 farewell

So how would you end an extended 6th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital, after some of the guests had the unique chance of getting up close and personal with the top wines and foods of the Langhe district for 2.5 days; after 3 days in Turin of talk-shows (1, 2, 3), cooking class, a natural 'hot' yoga class, a super cheese-tasting and lots of amazing delicious food and laughters?

Suspiciously smelling 'acqua e menta'- Americans think it tastes like Listerine but boy, the locals love it!
Photo by Alberto Bonis

We decided to spend a happy afternoon and evening in the Quadrilatero area. As many guests had already gone back to their professional commitments, we decided to spend a real Turinese afternoon with Reine and her son Jake, who had already been to Turin and fell for us!
We first stopped at Al Bicerin where besides ordering the original bicerin coffee, Jake had the chance to go on a culinary adventure trying a local's favorite drink: water and mint syrup. Yes, very similar to what you would have in France, but also a true Turinese tradition in the summer.

Then, because at Al Bicerin you can also buy lots of local candies... Jake got to try a sucai or an artisan licorice tiny brick, coated with sugar whose  flavor changes as you suck it in your mouth, just like its name tells you to do. πŸ˜‹

Basilica della Consolata

Then we got inside the Basilica della Consolata: the totally 'unassuming church' in front of Al Bicerin. This is a must-stop for different reasons: first of all, after its renovation it is now fully gilded,  and secondly, after admiring all the shades of marble, you must see the section about the miracles of Our Consolata Lady as they are portrayed in the gallery near the ex-voto collection πŸ‘Œ

Some cool shopping in Via Garibaldi followed, as well as some gelato, another gorgeous church, and some window shopping in Via San Tommaso.
Jake and Reine were interested in some original prints and art pieces to bring back home so we showed them inside Libreria Antiquaria Dentis, a vintage gallery that sells antique books, lots of unique paintings, old Turin maps and a collection exotic objects among with different two-headed animals and an African caiman wearing a crocheted white bonnet.

After this fun shopping spree we headed to Antico Balon in Piazza Emanuele Filiberto, near the Porta Palazzo market - the largest outdoor market in Europe.
This unordinary ristorante-pizzeria is definitely a must-try when in Turin: first of all the menu is an extension of what you can buy at the market where the chef goes groceries on a daily basis.
Their menu is strictly local, seasonal and open to any substitution and dietary restrictions: a vegan pizza reins among all the options. 
There is also a pizza doughs menu so you can choose among different grains, but all doughs are made with mother yeast 😎AND πŸ‘ the kitchen is at sight - translation for non-locals: top sign of hygiene, properly preserved and worked ingredients, freshly made dishes for everyone to see and check out on.

Left to right: Reine Bouton and her son Jake, Jan Egan, Benedetta Oggero, Alberto Bonis

As you can see, every detail at Antico Balon is studied to give you the feeling of eating at your old zia or nonna: the walls are painted to fake dust - don't be fooled though*, it's just a decor effect!

As behind the Porta Palazzo market there is Balon or THE antique market of Turin, all the tables and table-ware and the wall objects were all bought there and matched at the restaurant. So you eat on old Singer sewing machine tables, and each table is set with unmatched antique sets of dishes, glasses, silverware on lace-like place mats.
Old mirrors, lamps and Italian soccer items, pennants, banners, soccer memorabilia as well as some country tools surround you, just like as if you were at an old relative's!

Piedmontese tomini elettrici and with bagnet verd or green sauce served in a burnia or mason jar 

tagliolini with mushroom served in an old-style alluminum pot

No wonder you have to reserve with days in advance, eating out at Antico Balon is real treat and its desserts are even better 😜
If you are a fan of Italian soccer from the 1980s then you'll shed a couple tears too as each dessert is named after a soccer player, coach or some cool reference to our beloved Italo disco.

pizza with burrata mozzarella and Bra beef sausage

The quintessential Turin dessert: bunet with the amaretto cookie

A note needs to be written about the restroom: a living tribute to the Italian cinema spanning from the 1950s to the early 1970s with realia and posters.
Everyone at Antico Balon is genuinely super nice, def not for tips as everyone is regularly hired with a living wage contract. And if you are lucky enough when you go, you will also meet a very polite puppy at the cashier.

luscious Piedmont hazelnut chocolate cake with raspberry coulis

Eating, laughing, drinking, Reine and Jake left to see the USWNT winning the game; Miss Bee and Jan Egan stayed for some more laughters and Italian slang classes before calling the night off.

who on earth has ever said no to panna cotta? Pure happiness with red fruit coulis

Thank you so much everyone, we had an amazing afternoon and evening, awesome food and will definitely include a real local shopping afternoon next year to show you what Turin has in store!

*The Italian regulations are so strict that on a regular basis all public restaurants and coffee shops are inspected by the hygiene division of the Italian police called carabinieri NAS. If even a tiny detail isn't in order, like let's say... nobody dusts on a daily basis, well, that business will close down immediately!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

TurinEpi19 talk-show 3

The third talk-show of the 6th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital had Jan Egan aka The Watchful Cook moderating Ulderica Masoni aka THE Turin fashion guru, Benedetta Oggero aka Miss Bee, Paola Pressi of Il Reale and Monica Buzio who is bringing back to life her great grandfather's liqueur recipes.

* Lucia Hannau presenting the third talk-show

Thursday, July 11, 2019

A TurinEpi19 cheese tasting

Besides getting to share Turin with our guests and their online followers, every year there is another special reason to join the Turin Epicurean Capital bunch: 2019 was special as it had 2 big events and the cheese tasting at historic Latteria Bera was definitely one nobody could miss out on.

*Chiara Franzoso owner of Latteria Bera in Via San Tommaso 13

Monday, July 8, 2019

TurinEpi19 hot yoga

When we were planning the sixth edition of Turin Epicurean Capital, we imagined our guests might welcome a nice vinyasa to stretch and relax, what we couldn't imagine though was to get struck hard by the heat wave.
So basically, being outdoors was a hazard: the air blowing felt like an oven baking the pizza we had for lunch after the second talk-show.
Luckily, we could use a fresh lawn in the shade and enjoy the early evening breeze tunneled in the De La Salle Collegio San Giuseppe inner courtyard.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

TurinEpi19 talk-show 2

On Thursday, June 27th at 11am took place the 2nd talk-show of the 6th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital. Dr Reine Bouton moderated Christina Conte, Cynthia McCloud Woodman and Annette Joseph in a quite lively chat where personal experiences and points of view were often similar but conveyed in different ways.

*Left to right: Cynthia McCloud Woodman, Reine Bouton, Lucia Hannau, Christina Conte and Annette Joseph

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

turinepi19: gnocchi park

As customary this 6th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital included a cooking class. However, this year, we decided to move outside the kitchen to show our guests a part of Turin, otherwise they would never get the chance to visit.

*Barbara of Orti In Piazza showing the urban garden

Monday, July 1, 2019

TurinEpi19 talk show 1

Time flies by so quickly when you have fun and, not only the days in the Langhe and Roero wine districts were packed with fun visits, food and wine but also the Turin days were full of food, fun and sighs.

*Lucia Hannau presenting the first talk show of this 6th edition

Saturday, June 22, 2019

TurinEpi19: thank you

As this 6th extended edition of Turin Epicurean Capital is about to begin, we would like to take a minute to thank all the people that made it possible.

Torino 7, the Turin section of La Stampa newspaper with all the big events of the week to come

Friday, May 31, 2019

TurinEpi19 wine tour

Thanks to our collaboration with Incoming Experience, the sixth edition of Turin Epicurean Capital is extended and will last 6 days instead of our usual 3.
In June 2019, our guests get the opportunity to visit the beating heart of Piedmont: the Langhe wine district and a bit of Roero too πŸ˜‰

Top Italian wine producing region and white truffle hub of the world, within Piemonte there are many wine districts and traditional food production areas; however only 3 made it to the Unesco World Heritage Site list: Langhe, Roero and Monferrato.

Despite being close to each other, their geographical and geological conformations are rather different as you eye and palate can intuitively tell you.
These territories are made of tiny medieval hamlets perched on the top of vineyard covered hills.

If Monferrato counts more castles than in the Loire Valley, in France, the Langhe area comprised between Alba and Asti has the highest concentration of Michelin starred restaurants in the whole world! 
And Roero is the Piedmont unique fruit and vegetable garden thanks to its many family owned farms, orchards and hazelnut groves πŸ˜‹

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A piazza wide garden

Despite its very long industrial tradition, like Lady Gaga and Rihanna, Turin has known how to change and renovate herself along the years. Many areas of the city have changed completely in the last 30 years, starting from downtown, the Lingotto area where  you can now visit Eataly - the very first one in the world! - and the Fiat factory turned into a shopping mall, to Piazza Risorgimento in the Campidoglio neighborhood.

We often describe Turin like the Italian MoTown thanks to the Fiat, but also as the Italian Philly because of its elegant 18th century architecture and most definitely, like the Italian Manhattan given the Roman grid our city was built on. Like many cities around the world though, Turin has also many artsy projects and neighborhoods that keep outside of the tourists' paths.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

herbal alchimies in Turin

The 6th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital will see the participation of two women of the historic and world renown 'booze system' 😁: Monica Buzio and Paola Pressi.

Monica inside the distillery

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Amanda Jack's Turin

We are happy to share a guest post by our Twitter and Instagram friend Amanda Jack πŸ™†

Amanda is a writer, student, wife, mother and Grandmother. Dividing her time between homes in the North east of Scotland and the Piedmont Region of Italy, she patiently awaits the day she can perfect the Italian language. Until then, she enjoys writing about her adventures and reviewing books, mainly those set in and around Italy. 

Enjoy her perspective on Turin and do like her: come over!!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Spring risotto

Despite the weather hasn't made up its mind yet, we are in the spring and some days are getting really warm. To enhance our spring mood we are sharing our lemon and ginger risotto recipe πŸ˜‹ However we would like to underline how oranges, mandarins and lemons make for great all year long risottos!

By the way, this will be our Easter risotto 😜

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

galleria Subalpina

If the number of gallerias could define the cultural level of a city and its flair for art, no doubt Turin would always make the top of the list!

Galleria Subalpina in Piazza Castello

Thursday, March 21, 2019

April in Turin

April always makes a great month to visit Turin: the days are longer and the weather is generous enough to allow you to eat out in the many cozy piazzas and pedestrian streets.

Besides our humongous Easter chocolate eggs, and the endless list of artisan chocolate makers, you should try before the chocolate season ends, there are also other events that make April a good month to visit Torino.

Most events of 2019 happen after Easter. So, if you are planning a visit in the first 3 weeks of April check our suggestions here.

If you tango: just imagine what an experience it is to dance inside the Venaria Royal Palace during the Tango days on April 19th-21st

The Royal Palace of Venaria is Turin's Versailles

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

green risotto

March means green and Saint Paddy's Day πŸ’š so we are sharing with you one of green rice based dishes: our staple risotto with peas and mint πŸ™† 
Easy and healthy, it will be feasible virtually everywhere you are in the world, as long as you have access to any kind of white rice, frozen or fresh peas and fresh mint leaves. 
In order to preserve the fresh aroma of the mint and the peas flavor, we recommend you use white wine but, in case you happen to have it handy, a mild white beer will do too... and if worse comes to worse, you can always omit it for a lighter flavor.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Galleria Umberto I

Turin is magic in many ways but first and foremost in our décor 😎 in fact, we have not only one beautiful Art Nouveau galleria but three!!
Today we are sharing the story of Galleria Umbero I in the Porta Palazzo market area.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Turin University

the historic university building from the 1700
Back in the 2006, a Winter Olympic Games TV ad said 'the whole world comes to Turin', and indeed many famous people have passed through Turin much earlier than 2006, fell in love with our city, chose it to spend a part of their lives and even study here!

Besides an airport - look up for TRN - Turin also has one of the oldest Italian, and of the world, universities!!

Founded in 1404, the current university structure, including the labs, the classrooms and all the offices are spread out from the 1700 Rectorate building, in downtown Via Po, to many mini campuses that reach out as far the Turin's suburb.

Unlike North American and British universities, Turin doesn't have just one whole area devoted to the university, because this one has grown over the centuries following the city's life and it urban developments.
Each school or college has its own library, located in its own building or mini campus; the university dorms are also spread out all over Turin to be located nearby the different schools or colleges.

Generally speaking, when referring to the University of Turin, the locals mean 2 institutions: the Liberal Arts School, located near Mole Antonelliana and Via Po and Politecnico where the Engineering and Architecture Schools have their administration.

Monday, February 11, 2019

aphrodisiac risotto

For this Valentine's Day we are sharing one of our risotto recipes: THE aphrodisiac risotto to help you friends get in the right mood πŸ˜‰

Many of you already know about the benefits of ginger, a powerful root that has been used for centuries in China.
Being related to cardamom and turmeric, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that make it an ideal natural remedy for nausea (during pregnancy and chemotherapy too), cold, flu and help digestion, thus stimulating appetite... 
It is also very good for people who regularly exercise because it reduces muscle pain. On top, it helps lowering blood sugars - making it a great anti-diabetic - and cholesterol, it is one of the oldest pain reliefs and it helps burning fats too!
According to some studies ginger protects the brain from Alzheimer and the body from infections.

Friday, February 1, 2019

pumpkin risotto

Despite all the differences that divide us, sometimes we are forcibly brought together by an external common circumstance like these days: the extreme cold weather!
As many areas of the world are going through some exceptionally freezing temperatures, we can only think about one thing to keep ourselves warm and happy:

Pumpkin Risotto 

with red ale ... optional

topped with (optional) crunchy bacon bites... 


Monday, January 21, 2019

our sweet emergency kit

During college, or studying abroad, or working far from home, raise up your hand, amici, if you haven't received at least one care package sent by a thoughtful relative or friend!
How soothing it was, wasn't it?

Well, as for us, besides being the happy recipients of a very much appreciated basic necessities bag put together by Chiara of Latteria Bera we were also awarded a sweet emergency kit πŸ™†

Friday, January 11, 2019

foodies' basic necessities

Some weeks ago we talked to you about Chiara and her nonna's dairy, Latteria Bera founded in Turin in 1958.
Now you may think that any dairy is the same and all you can get is just dairy based products. Sure, they may differ locally, but it's always cheese, butter, milk, eggs and yogurt, and that's basically it.
Well, that's not the case with this historic latteria that is more to be considered like a gourmet dairy and a small production specialty shop 😎 

Today we would like to share with you what Chiara's basic necessities bag contained for us... just in case you needed some culinary shopping ideas when in Turin πŸ˜‰