Piedmont – “At the foot of the mountains”

Piedmont, located in the northwest of Italy, is renowned for its incredible cuisine, which is influenced by its geography, climate, and history. It is home to a wealth of ingredients that are unique to the region, including white truffles, hazelnuts, and the famous Barolo and Barbaresco wines. One of the most iconic dishes of Piedmont is vitello tonnato, which is a thinly sliced, cold veal that is served with a creamy sauce made from canned tuna, mayonnaise, and capers. It may seem like an unusual combination, but the flavors work perfectly together and create a delicious and sophisticated dish.

Another classic Piedmontese dish is bagna cauda, which is a warm dip made from anchovies, garlic, and olive oil. It is traditionally served with vegetables such as raw peppers, artichokes, and celery, making it a healthy and flavorful appetizer or snack. For something heartier, try agnolotti del plin, which are small, stuffed pasta parcels that are a specialty of the Piedmont region. The filling can vary, but it is often made from a mixture of meat, cheese, and vegetables. These little dumplings are usually served in rich butter and sage sauce and are a real treat for any pasta lover.

Piedmont is also famous for its sweet treats, such as gianduiotto, which is a chocolate hazelnut confection that was invented in Turin in the 19th century. These small, bite-sized treats are made with a combination of cocoa powder, sugar, and finely ground hazelnuts and are a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. Of course, no trip to Piedmont would be complete without trying the region’s famous wines. Barolo and Barbaresco are both made from the Nebbiolo grape and are highly regarded for their complex flavors and aromas. They are the perfect accompaniment to the rich, flavorful dishes of Piedmont and are a testament to the region’s long and proud winemaking tradition.

If you have brushed up on your Italian for your visit to the country, and find yourself in Piedmont, you should know that the Piedmontese dialect is a distinct language– unique to the Piedmont region of Italy– which is distinct from the Italian language.  Many locals are able to speak both Italian and the Piedmontese dialect, but there are definite nuances between each language.  Learning at least a little bit of the Piedmontese dialect can give visitors a deeper understanding of local culture and history when in the region.

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