Enough with the macarons, the tarte tatin and the tapenade. It’s time for me to get back to Italy, and I did just that in late October and early November. Immediately following my trip to France, I took a train to Torino (Turin) to revisit one of my favorite Italian cities and spend some time in the exquisitely beautiful countryside of Piedmont, where this picture was taken. I have plenty of posts and enticing recipes for you from the region, but I’ll start with a very brief intro to Piedmont’s largest city, Torino – and finish with some photos from the Salone Del Gusto, a humongous food event held every two years.
The huge piazza was the site of nightly concerts and awards ceremonies for the 2006 winter olympics. During the games, I worked for the city’s daily newspaper La Stampa, and would occasionally leave my job early enough to hear performers like Ennio Morricone here in Piazza Castello. For those of you who aren’t Italian, you would certainly recognize Morricone from the many film scores he composed, including The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and Cinema Paradiso. He’s considered a national treasure in Italy.
Back in Torino, you can feel like a royal at one of the many elegant cafes in town, including this one — Baratti & Milano, where the waiters are spiffily dressed.
But even if you’re not a king or even a duke, the warmth exuded by people in the city can make you feel like royalty, including this couple — Maurizio Tassinari and Iva Battistello, who own a wonderful food shop called Sapori. They invited me into their kitchen to watch fresh pasta being made, then served me plateful after plateful, even opening a bottle of wine for me to wash it down with.
And since we were walking distance of this place –
the food emporium that started in Torino, my friend Lilli and I had to stroll over, peruse the aisles and finish the day with a pizza or two.
In the days ahead, I’ll be posting more entries from Torino and Le Langhe, including recipes of some of the delicious meals I ate. But the next post will be a detour to Sicily – for the newest menu addition to my traditional “feast of the seven fishes” Christmas eve dinner. Go out buy some Italian pine nuts now – just sayin’.