Piedmont is located in Northwestern Italy and includes a variety of remarkable landscapes, from the Alpi mountains to the hills of the Langhe and Monferrato, to the flat plains that line the Po River.
For the people of Piedmont eating is one of the great pleasures of life and food is taken extremely seriously here. Famous for its white truffles, the Piedmont region provides many culinary delights. One thing that is important to remember when eating a truffle, is that it is always best to eat it with simple foods like scrambled eggs, pasta, and rice dishes; the white truffles are cut in thin slices over steaming risotto or homemade tajarin pasta.
In Piedmont, the meal always starts with antipasti or appetizers, for example: anchovies with green sauce, vitello tonnato (veal with tuna sauce), carne all’albese (beef alba style), which is raw beef with a topping of truffle slices or slivers of Parmesan.
Bagna cauda: the Piedmontese love garlic and anchovy, and this is a wonderful combination of both, to be served in a fondue dish in the middle of the table, or in little individual pots, each with a candle underneath.
Grissini, the slim breadsticks that are found on many Italian tables, have their origins in Piedmont.
Agnolotti are stuffed, fresh pasta squares with a filling of meat and vegetables placed between 2 layers of dough and cut all around. They are usually served with a sauce or butter but can also be added to broth to make a soup.
Tajarin is the egg-yolk-rich pasta from the Piedmont region of Italy.
The Province of Vercelli that lies in northeastern Piedmont, is one of Europe’s leading rice producers, and a huge variety of risotto bears testimony to this.
As a main course, you have: Bollito misto (mixed boiled meats) that combines at least five different types of meat, and has several accompanying sauces; Fritto misto (deep-fried assorted meat combined with deep-fried semolino and amaretti) and Brasato al Barolo (beef braised in Barolo wine).
Of all the many Piedmont dessert recipes Panna Cotta (cooked cream) is perhaps the most well known of them all, with the great Bonet (chocolate pudding) coming in a close second.
Another traditional Italian dessert, Zabajone, is a delicious treat made with eggs and Marsala wine.
A special thanks to Chiara M. in Piedmont for this great description and the pictures of “antipasti”
RECIPES from PIEDMONT
Autumn is the time of great cuisine tradition, accomplice are truffles (black or white)
Pureed white beans and black truffle
Take white beans (called Spagna beans) and soak them all night long.
Cook the beans with oil, an onion cut into thin slices and salt and water.
Once cooked, mix the beans and onions in the mixer.
Clean the black truffle and cut it into thin slices, put the pureed beans back on the heat, adding cream and slices of truffle.
Serve in bowls (white) and cover with slices of black truffles. The contrast of colors looks amazing.
Egg pan with white Alba truffle
Melt the butter with a small quantity of oil in a pan, a clove of garlic and boiled eggs (two per person) with soft yolks.
Serve very hot (taking the garlic away) and cover with “petals” of white truffle; the table will be flooded by the mixture of unique and rare truffle.
By Massimo Martinelli