Piedmont  

 

The region of Piedmont is the producer of some of the best and noble wines of Italy and the original maker of Vermouth. The fields producing grapes are covered by snow in the winter; the temperature is mild in the spring and fall and dry in the winter: an ideal weather for vineyards. The city of Alba is the center of wines officially classified (DOC): Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto d’Asti, Gattinara, Barbera, Nebbiolo to name a few.

 

Asti, a city about thirty-five miles east of Turin, is famous for the production of Asti Spumante, a sparkling wine, served for special occasions, as an aperitif or as a dessert wine. Some of the white wines are the crisp Gavi, the fruity Arneis, the venerable Erbaluce, which is produced as a white wine, as a sparkling spumante and as Passito, a wine made from semi-dry grapes.

     WineyardAsti Wineyard

The regions capital Turin is the headquarter of FIAT, a leading European car producer; in the Cathedral of Turin is kept the high venerated Sacra Sindone, the Sacred Shroud with the imprint of the body of Jesus Christ.     

 

                       Wine Seller

The grissini, breadsticks originated in Turin, the best truffles, the famous tartufi di Alba are harvest in Piedmont; the white truffles and the abundant chestnuts harvested in the area are utilized as condiment for pasta, polenta and rice dishes. 

Polenta grassa is made with baked layers of polenta and fontina cheese. 

Brudera is a risotto made with beef broth, pork, chicken and pigs’ blood, Sciughet is a vegetable soup to which milk and red wine is added, risotti and Agnolotti, ravioli stuffed with meat and sage, are dressed with a buttery sauce and shavings of truffles; gnocchi, potato dumplings, and Tajarin, thin flat egg noodles are served with a variety of condiments.    

Among the meat dishes, the rabbit “Astigiana” and the braised beef are cooked with plenty of Barolo wine; they are renowned for vitello tonnato-veal dressed with tuna fish sauce-, bolliti misti, a combination of diverse types of boiled meats and the bagna cauda a tasty hot dip for vegetables, made with anchovies, olive oil and garlic.

 

The town of Vercelli is the rice capital of Italy. A renowned dish is the Panissa made with a soffritto of oil, onions and soft salame with rice, fagioli beans and red wine 

 

    Rice Farm   Rice Varieties       

 

A variety of desserts include nougat candy, gianduja, hazelnuts and chocolate mixture, bonet, similar to cream caramel made with a creamy chocolate, crumbed amaretti, coffee and rum; the Biscotti di Novara, are cookies perfect for dipping in wine or in caffe’ e latte, and the Bicciolani which are spiced biscuits produced in Vercelli with a flaky dough spiced with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander and cloves. Pears cooked in Barolo wine and syrup, are enjoyed as a delicious snack or to conclude a dinner. 

 

 

  

 

Mrs. Nancy Erdelyi sent the following comments (and the pictures that are published in this section) about the Piedmont region, she visited at the end of the spring of 2009.Asti Spumante winery - by Nancy Erdelyi 

 

We are appreciative for her comments and thank her for sharing with us the following: 

 

<(Our journey took us)… to Astias in AstiSpumante !.. (We) visited a vineyard with wine tasting. Lovely landscape, the grape vines!…. (In the field), women were culling the vines to let in more sun on the grapes to ripen. It was a typical sunny day…. (and) that night, in a different locale, we had an outdoor dinner in a vineyard with music and dancing. It was…. quite pleasant. 

Time to move on to Turinor Torino, the home of the Shroud of 

Turinand we visited the ShroudMuseum. Mass was going on in the Cathedral where the Shroud is kept (not on display) so we did not intrude. Turinis an interesting town with the most unusual architecture of covered walkways…Thirteen miles of it, in the center of town. …Longer story as to why.  Here we also here visited a Nougat factory… Lunch that day was in Vercelliat a rice plantation. Yes rice plantation in Italy. Learned that it is important to control the temperature of the water that they flood the fields with so that the rice will grow properly and they do this by raising the water level with cold water, or draining the water so that the shallow level is warmed by the sun: very interesting !..  We had lunch, risotto of course made with the local rice.  There were two types and the one I enjoyed was made with these ingredients: rice (naturally), soft salami (could use sausage meat), water, red wine, brown beans (could use white beans), salt/pepper.>