Gianduiotto e Bicerin: what a sweet Turin

Ancient Gianduiotto - photo by
Ancient Gianduiotto – photo by

What is it?

Gianduiotto is a typical sweet of Turin and it seems a little overturned ship, which has become an icon of the town and it is known all over the world.

This chocolate candy was born in the ‘800, specifically in 1852, thanks to the genius of Michele Prochet: during these times, the cocoa had become a luxury good because of the Napoleone’s law, so Prochet decided to combine cheaper local product with the mixture.

What was? The Tonda Gentile, the Hezelnut of Piemonte. That one, mixed with the cocoa created the new, unique and delicate sweet.

Tonda Gentile- Hezelnut of Piemonte - photo by Andrea Demagistris_
Tonda Gentile- Hezelnut of Piemonte – photo by Andrea Demagistris_

The name comes from the ancient carnival mask “Gian d’la duja” or “Giovanni della Gola”, who in the 1867 gave for the first time the chocolate to the public.

What about the Bicerin? It is considered a sort of divine food and, since 2001, it has been officially a “traditional drink of Piemonte”.

What does this term mean? Actually, it is the term for a shot glass in the piemontese language, and it is inspired to a Bavarian beverage made by caffè and milk cream. Many famous people used to drink that in the historic café of the city, and for example, Alexandre Dumas said that “I will never forget the bicerin, an excellent drink”.

Bicerin - photo by
Bicerin – photo by

It is a mix of caffé expresso, homemade chocolate and milk cream (in some version it is possible to find whipped cream) and it is served in all the bar of the city.

Even if you can find it everywhere, the tradition says that the real Bicerin can be tasted only at the Bicerin Cafè, near the Consolata Santuario, because only there it is made with the traditional receipt.

Unlike the other caffè the Bicerin is not served in a cup, but in shot glasses which are transparent and round, so you can notice the different shadows of ingredients’ colours.

Bicerin Cafè - photo by
Bicerin Cafè – photo by chiarabunino.blogspot.i

Be Careful! The Bicerin is not only a historic cafè, you can also find the alcoholic version of this drink: it is a liqueur made with gianduia cream which should be drunk hot to taste the gianduia flavour in the best way .

Now the only thing to do is… taste this sweet city.

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