Piedmont food glossary
From a gastronomic viewpoint, the region of Piedmont boasts some of Italy’s finest, most diverse traditional foods. It is therefore no surprise that the worldfamous ‘Slow Food’ association, an international, non-profit organization committed to giving food back its proper value, was born here. It is also here that the Italian University of Gastronomic Sciences, the first, and possibly only, ‘university of taste’ in the world, was established. The amazing raw materials offered by the Piedmontese region include meat, cheese, wine and truffles, and are the basic ingredients used to create deliciously rich, tasty recipes. We’ve compiled a list of several Made in Piedmont dishes that are absolute must-tastes. By Chiara Zaccarelli BAGNA CAUDA This typical winter specialty consists of a sauce made from garlic, extra virgin olive oil and anchovies, to which butter, milk and chopped nuts can also be added. Bagna Cauda is served in a terracotta pot and used as a dip for raw or cooked seasonal vegetables. If, on the one hand, it encourages conviviality, on the other, especially if you’ve overdone the garlic, you might find people avoiding you because you reek of it! PIEDMONTESE MIXED FRY This uniquely rich local specialty of Piedmont consists of a combination of fried liver, lungs, brain, sweetbreads, liver veins, a slice of veal, sausage, sweet semolina, amaretti biscuits and apples, accompanied by pan-fried carrots or mixed vegetables. Not a dish for the faint-hearted. AGNOLOTTI DEL PLIN
These small filled ‘pouches’ are made with a thin sheet of dough, stuffed with a filling of braised meat (usually a mixture of beef, veal or pork) and Swiss chard, dressed with the pan juices of the braised meat, or butter and sage. The name ‘plin’ derives from the regional dialect for ‘pinch’ because to form each agnolotto you pinch the two sheets of pasta together. PIEDMONTESE GRAN BOLLITO MISTO This elaborate dish of mixed boiled meats is made from seven cuts of Piedmontese veal, including the thigh muscle, shoulder and breast, and seven ‘improvers’, tongue, musetto (a pork sausage made in part from a pig’s snout) and a game hen, cooked for several hours in boiling water. It is accompanied by seven tasty sauces, and a side of vegetables. One of the favourite dishes of Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, and Vittorio Emanuele, Piedmont’s ‘ bollito misto’ even has its own brotherhood.
This classic ‘antipasto’ of Piedmont cuisine is made from poaching the ‘girello’ cut of ‘Fassona’ veal (a prized Piemontese breed of veal) in a stock with aromatic herbs and white wine, sliced thinly and served cold with a traditional sauce made from tuna fish, egg yolks, capers, extra virgin olive oil, white wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Bonet, pronounced bunet, is a soft, rich, deliciously old-fashioned dessert that can be eaten with a spoon. Bonet is made from sugar, eggs, milk, cocoa, rum and dry amaretti biscuits. An unusual feature of this recipe is that it’s baked in a Bain Marie in the oven. A Bain Marie, or hot water bath, is a slow, natural culinary technique that is used to cook delicate foods, over a low temperature, using the steam the Bain Marie creates. It preserves the softness of the dessert and facilitates the formation of a delicious crust on its surface.
Piedmontese Mixed Fry