History / Traditions / Interesting Facts
The love affair between the Piedmont and chocolate dates back a long way. It is a history which started with the invention of the gianduiotto chocolate in the last century in Turin and led to Alba, after the war, where master chocolatier Pietro Ferrero patented a chocolate loaf to be cut into slices in 1946. The mixture, based on a combination of cocoa and the soft, round hazelnuts of Alba, was perfected by his son, Giovanni Ferrero, in the 1960s, who transformed it into a spreadable paste now exported across the world, otherwise known as Nutella.
Chocolate is an institution in Turin. It is served in a cup, with or without whipped cream, in the city's most celebrated bars, and the “giandujotto” (a chocolate shaped like a wedge or overturned boat) has become the symbol of the city worldwide.
It is not just Turin which lays claim to being the home of chocolate. Throughout the Piedmont, historical chocolatiers and pastry makers compete with their specialities. In Vicoforte, Silvio Bessone imports cocoa beans from South America to make “Fuego”, aphrodisiacal chocolates based on a secret recipe. The maitre chocolatier recently opened "Cioccolocanda", where it is possible to enjoy an unforgettable experience: a bath in an oriental wooden bathtub filled with 80 litres of chocolate at a temperature of 40 degrees.
In Asti, the historical Giordanino pastry shop, in pure Liberty style, makes the exclusive “Alfierini”, praline chocolates with an effigy of Vittorio Alfieri, and bakes its Cabiria cakes, inspired by Pastrone's film of the same name, with the verses of Gabriele D’Annunzio.
In Castellazzo Bormida, at Località Micarella, in the province of Alessandria, Giraudi has specialised in delicious chocolate-coated candied pear, rose and grapefruit.
News and events
CIOCCOLA-TO 2016 - Turin - November 2015 - The show dedicated to Italian and international chocolate making, with particular focus on the small firms using traditional processes of the Piedmont, including meetings with experts, edutainment initiatives for children, guided tasting