The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy

Share Post:

I have traveled to a few places and have always done a food-centered blog post when I’ve come back home. I have a post on Miami, Iceland, London/Manchester, and my very first travel post on Italy.

It had been a long time since I was in Italy so when I traveled there with the ICCO this past June, I felt that I had a bit of experience in terms of doing a proper blog post.  I decided to split up all of the information that I gathered into separate posts so that they would be easier to read.  I did a post about all of the cheese, another about all of the meat, another about vermouth, another about Asti and another combining chocolate, coffee and hazelnuts!!!

I tried to cover all of the places we visited and all of the food we ate.  But, I wanted to do one final post tying the entire trip together, highlighting some of the places we visited that weren’t necessarily covered in my other posts.  There were some lovely hotels and some beautiful buildings that I had to show you guys!!

Talking about beautiful buildings, I’d be remiss not to tell you about our first stop, Palazzo Righini which was a stunning little hotel in the small town of Fossano.  It was so pretty, with painted ceilings everywhere and even a fabulous chapel that was unearthed years later.

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

Antiche Volte is the extraordinary restaurant in the hotel.  It was another beautiful find in the hotel.  The food was beyond extraordinary and it was stunning!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

On our first day of adventuring, we went to La Bruna Dairy farms where we learned all about the magnificent local cheese called Castelmagno and all the other glorious cheeses they make (and how hard it is to make it!!).  Their cheese cellar below was magnificent!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

If you want to read more about the cheese of Piedmonte and learn how to make a really simple risotto recipe, click here for a closer look!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

We visited an agriristoro (a farm that serves lunch) called Cascina Rosa – a lovely farm that grows their own produce, makes their own honey, processes their own preserves, makes their own apple cider vinegar and so much more!!! A simple farm with just a few people on staff, we had the most mouth watering, rustic farm meal!!

Why every foodie needs to go to Torino
A starter of Giardiniera (pickled Italian veggies)
Why every foodie needs to go to Torino
Homemade crackers with a variety of farm produced jams
Why every foodie needs to go to Torino
Crostatina (small crostata) filled with cumin and saffron dusted zucchini, creamed Raschera cheese (a local delicacy) and topped with a deep fried zucchini flower!
Why every Foodie needs to go to Torino
Served everywhere in Northern Italy, this Russian salad (pickled diced vegetables served in a mayonnaise based “savoury custard”, it was a refreshing surprise!
Why every Foodie needs to go to Torino
A beautifully rustic dish of homemade gnocchi served in a simple fonduta di Castelmagno di alpeggio, a creamy fondue like sauce made of this magnificent local cheese made from local mountain sheep!
Why every Foodie needs to go to Torino
And the most lovely end to our meal…cremosa allo yogurt con granola, composta di frutta e frutta fresca – the creamiest yogurt I’ve ever had (would have sworn it was custard!) with a puree of local fruit, homemade granola and fresh fruit!

When you go to some small towns in Europe, there is an expectation that you will stumble upon places like this agriristoro…

But there are many things that you learn in small town that will also surprise you!

Like how popular craft breweries have become in Italy!  In the land of vino rosso, the appearance of many craft beers was quite a surprise to me.  And what better place to learn all about than at Beer Baladin!!

We had visited their first pub, Le Baladin, that is in town (Cuneo) and has a fun, circus like vibe but my absolute favourite was the Open Garden below…

Why every Foodie needs to go to Torino
This old building was lovingly restored to house an outdoor beer “palace
Why every Foodie needs to go to Torino
So many beautiful spaces under one roof!
Why every Foodie needs to go to Torino
Can you see the bottle in the wall between the two windows? This tells the owner that this was once a winery (most of the time, wineries would plaster a wine bottle right into the structure of the building to let people know what business was housed inside)
Why every Foodie needs to go to Torino
I love how they maintained the washed walls of the original building!!
Why every Foodie needs to go to Torino
We even saw them preparing pizza in the outdoor barbecue area (pizza wasn’t something we saw often on this trip!!)

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

We spent almost a full day at the University of Gastronomic Sciences (where, yes, you can do your Masters in gastronomic sciences!!)…

I really had to show you the beauty of this university…

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie DuringonThe Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

We went inside to do some cooking of our own!  In the lab we were given the freshest ingredients (from their very own (huge) school garden!!).  Look at all of these vegetables that the students get to use in their cooking each day!!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

We made the most amazing Italian “mac and cheese”…seriously, just macaroni and cheese!!

Why every Foodie needs to go to Torino

And this tiramisu made with a craft beer (see?!?) that was infused with coffee!!! Amazing!

the best tiramisu

Then we had lunch at the school’s “restaurant”…not cafeteria…restaurant!!  We had a fantastic meal (with wine!!).

But, seriously, who wouldn’t want to go to school here!!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie DuringonThe Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

The school even has a luxury hotel right on the premises…I mean, come on!! Stunning!!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

After the best team building cooking experience, we went to Castiliglione Falletto and did a wine tasting a Cantina Comunale …and incredible educational tasting about so many wines of the region including the fabulous barolo and then continued outdoors to have one of the most beautiful meals with a wine pairing…amazing!

Why every Foodie needs to go to Torino
What you find all food bloggers doing on assignment…taking pics!!
Why every Foodie needs to go to Torino
Bring on the Barolo!!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

From here we traveled to Asti and did a guided tasting of Asti D.O.G.C Consortium  … (and had a great informational session on the great bubbly!!).

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

Visiting the Asti region and learning all about the flavour components of this awesome wine, inspired me to create this strawberry bellini made with asti…such a great summer drink!!

strawberry bellini

From that bubbly tasting, we went to the beautiful Locanda del Bosco Grande, in the untouched hills of Monferrato.  I find the simplest of dishes are always the most memorable…like this glorious plate of simple pasta served al fresco on the patio!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

And a plate of freshly picked asparagus topped with a farm fresh poached egg, beschamel and freshly shaved truffles!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

There were a few more dishes in between, but I just wanted to bath in this huge bowl (we each got one) of zabaglione with a freshly baked biscuit! Heaven!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

And on the topic of incredible meals, one of the final dinners we had at Palazzo Righini hotel was a simple al fresco meal on the patio as the sun was setting…

We began with this incredible carpaccio that was “tenderized in vermouth” (more on the significance of vermouth further down!)…

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

It was one of many incredible meat dishes we had on out trip.

The north historically has always been a wealthier part of the country, which means their food culture has always had things that, to the average Italian would be more costly.  The most evident is all of their decadent meat dishes like this brasato which I’ve recreated for all of you to try at home!!

Brasato al barolo and the meats of piedmonte

Another dish at our final meal at Palazzo Righini was one of the best gnocchi I have ever had:

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

I am so intrigued by the simplicity of dishes like gnocchi…full of belly filling goodness!  Here is a very northern dish of gnocchi with a white ragu (imagine a tomato-less version of a meat sauce!) that I made at home…inspired by this trip!!  Deeeelish!!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

And I know if you guys were all with me, you would have loved our trip to Affini Bar, where we learned all about Vermouth and the historical significance of it to this region.

This is all of my traveling peeps getting ready to learn…and drink!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

Why every foodie needs to make a trip to Torino
An incredible cocktail we had at the Affini Bar

 

One of the most incredible things I learned while we were there was during our day at Affini Bar learning all about Vermouth.  I came home to make sure I was using authentic vermouth from Torino and came up with this recipe for Vermouth soaked lady fingers with strawberries and lemon cream (and you can also read, in this post, more about the history of vermouth…it’s pretty incredible!!)

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

On our last leg of the trip, we were stationed at the Hotel Piazza Carlina, a pretty hotel right in the heart of town.

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon
It even had it’s own lemon tree in the courtyard!!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

On our final day it was all about chocolate, coffee and hazelnuts.  We spent a whole day tasting chocolate and coffee and hazelnuts from the area (the best I’ve ever had)

The first chocolate factory that we visited was Caffarel, home of the famous pyramid shaped gianduia (we can even buy them here in Canada!)

the best chocolate ever!!

The next stop was at the Domori plant.   The Italian heart of Domori is it’s None factory, in Torino, which was built to preserve the identity of the different varieties of cocoa while they process extra fine chocolate…it’s pretty amazing!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

And out last stop at the Giuliani caffe was such an amazing lesson in coffee…even as an Italian (who thinks she knows a lot about her beverage of choice), this was a great educational day!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

Of course, being the keener that I am, I came home and created this recipe that uses all three…and iced mocha hazelnut latte (also check out this post for more history on chocolate, coffee and hazelnuts in Torino!)

the best iced hazelnut mocha latte

We also had bonet, a chocolate panna cotta made with crushed amaretti cookies a few times (so of course I had to come up with my own version …check it out here!!)

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

The sites of the Piedmonte region were amazing…but the best sites were the ones that had no major significance…

Like windows open to let the fresh June air in…I wonder what they’re cooking inside?

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

Random alleyways that begged us all to stop and take a load off…

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

Beautiful frescos that were on the walls of the town square…I bet the locals don’t even remember they’re there.  But from a gal who comes from a relatively young country, I could stare at these all day!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

The beauty of detail…even a simple building corner is adorned with magnificence…

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

Oh, and all the doors! I loved this one because it was a door IN a door (can you see it?).

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

Ah yes, Torino!  You were a lovely place to see – an incredible backdrop to a fabulous trip shared with some pretty awesome people.

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon

A trip I won’t soon forget!

The Ultimate Foodie Guide to Torino, Italy Just Crumbs Blog by Suzie Duringon