Turin's food is very different from other Italians regions.
23 Aug 2019
Turin's food is very different to regions like Tuscany, Puglia, or Sicily, relying on local ingredients like truffles and hazelnuts, and making distinctive use of roasted vegetables, veal, and seafood. And the city is home to plenty of outstanding restaurants.
When you stay with Gruppo UNA at the Principi di Piemonte | UNA Esperienze, our staff will make it easy to tour the city's culinary standouts, as well as produce markets, cookery schools, enotecas, and even countryside producers. But what can you expect from your foodie break in Turin? Here are some traditional recipes in Turin and Piedmont that everyone should try once.
Tuck Into some Bagna Cauda.
First of all, gastronomic travellers need to order a helping of Bagna Cauda. One of Piedmont's most famous culinary creations, Bagna Cauda resembles Swiss fondue in some ways, but with a couple of unexpected twists.
Instead of dipping bread in melted cheese, the dish involves submerging chunks of vegetables in a specially prepared hot sauce (or "hot bath" as the name suggests). Made from garlic and anchovies, the sauce complements pretty much anything that it coats, offering a rich blend of flavours that you'll only find around Turin.
Go raw with some protein-packed "carne cruda".
If meat is more in line with your tastes, Turin has other delights to discover. Made from high-quality raw meat, Carne Cruda divides opinion (at least before diners summon up the courage to try it), but any committed carnivores will be glad they took the plunge.
Typically, Piedmontese chefs will use fresh veal cut into very slender slices. To this, they tend to add sliced mushrooms (porcini is a popular option) and a generous helping of Gran Padano cheese, which is heaped in the middle of the dish.
It may revolt some people, but Carne Cruda will be a revelation for anyone who loves carpaccio-style meat dishes, and it's another dish that you'll only find in and around Turin.
Sample Pasta flavoured with Alba truffles.
Lurking deep beneath the soil of the Piedmont countryside, Alba truffles are one of the region's most valuable, and delicious, products. Especially delicious in late summer and the autumn, they add an "earthy" flavour to a host of dishes and are spectacular when used to accent pasta.
If you get the chance, ask for tagliolini pasta (also known as tajarins). Most good Turin trattoria will make their own batches of this slender egg pasta, and couple it with gently boiled Alba truffles which are also cooked in a little butter to soften them up. After that, the truffles are mixed in with the tagliolini, and any leftovers are grated on top creating a truly incredible spin on familiar pasta bowls.
If you get a taste for the Alba truffle, heading to Turin in October is a great option. At the height of truffle hunting season, Piedmont's towns stage vibrant markets for these prized ingredients - the perfect souvenir for cooks back home.
Gorge yourself on hazelnut tarts.
Piedmont isn't just truffle country. It's also a huge producer of hazelnuts (hence the popularity of chocolate and nut spreads like Nutella). Local farmers are obsessively proud of their "nocciola" crop, which is a key ingredient of sweet delights like gianduja paste. And it's also a core element of the region's irresistible hazelnut tarts.
Torta di Nocciola is a common sight at the end of Turin's menus, offering a comforting prospect at the end of a lunchtime feast. Usually made with freshly roasted locally produced nuts, with icing sugar sprinkled over the top, these tarts can come in even more decadent chocolate versions. Either way, they are the perfect coda for a culinary adventure in Turin.
Dive into One of the World's Great Foodie Destinations.
Turin has so much to offer lovers of fine food (and wine). From rich hazelnut tarts to unique combinations of egg pasta and truffle, there are traditional recipes in Turin and Piedmont to excite anyone's tastebuds.
At Gruppo UNA, we always want visitors to enjoy Italy's gastronomy to the full. So get in touch, book accommodation at the Principi di Piemonte | UNA Esperienze, and let our team point you towards the finest restaurants in this wonderful city, or let our chefs dazzle you. Either way, no vacation could be more appetising.
For more advice, information, and inspiration for your next trip to Italy, take a look at our other articles and our full hotel listings on our website.