Viaggio a Torino II (Trip to Turin no. 2)

The Italian and I spent another few days in Turin. This time around we mostly just relaxed, spent time with his parents and ate some amazing home-cooked food. I’ve captured a few of the highlights below, although I won’t be providing recipes because I wasn’t participating in the cooking – only the eating!

ImageCarciofi con Caperi in Padella, or Sauteed Artichokes with Capers – This was delicious and simple, served with capers and parsley. The table setting is typical for how the Italian’s family eats – there is always bread and grissini (breadsticks) on the table to eat with each course.

ImageFarinata – This is a thin, pancake-style bread made of chickpea flour. The Italian and I have actually made this before in London, although I don’t think our version came out quite this good! It’s fairly simple to make – mix chickpea flour with water and olive oil to form a loose batter, and bake it in the open oven. Serve with salt and pepper.

ImageCarciofi Fritti, or Fried artichokes – one of my favorites! The Italian’s mother is a pro at battering and frying a variety of vegetables and meats. Delicious!

ImageMostarda Frutta Mista, or Fruit Mustard – This is an interesting one, and the first time I’ve tried this. It is essentially a condiment made of candied fruit and a mustard flavored syrup. We ate this with boiled meats, or bollito misto, which is a northern Italy specialty that sees a variety of meats simmered for several hours in vegetable broth. The sauce is somehow sweet, spicy and tangy mustard-y all at the same time, but does go quite well with boiled beef!

ImageCachi – In Italy, these interesting fruits are called cachi, but in English we know them as persimmons. I’d never had one before and tried my first caco on this trip. It was good, very sweet and fiberous, almost similar to a mango but much softer and more soup-like.

ImageCioccolata Calda – Lastly, we come to what may have been the culinary highlight of the trip: Italian hot chocolate. We went to an amazing place called Baratti & Milano that has been making some of the best chocolate in Piedmont since 1858! The cioccolata calda is dense, rich and thick with almost a pudding-like consistency. The panna on the side is a great addition and makes the whole thing even more decadent. This is one of my favorite winter desserts and has been since I spent a year studying abroad in Bologna, although I don’t think I’ve found anywhere that makes it as good as Baratti & Milano!

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