Piedmont’s Top Produce Everyone Should Try

According to Lonely Planet, this year Piedmont (Piemonte in Italian) is the top region to visit in the world. Amongst the beautiful rolling hills and grape vines of the Langhe region, Piedmont has three products from the region that we think you should know about. The Flavours team decided to make our own list of the top three cuisines from the region – because we love food and because there are top notch food and drink in Piedmont: White Truffles, Red Wine and Piedmont Hazelnuts.

White Truffles

The white truffles in Piedmont are prized for their distinct flavour and smell. These truffle are distinct because they cannot be cultivated – they can only be foraged. Image the dedication to forage for white truffles throughout the forests! Especially when good hunting dogs cost close to 7000 Euros!

Three white truffles

White Truffle – Mortazavifar [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

The truffles are brought out every year for the annual Alba White Truffle Fair, which is a feast for the eyes. For two whole months in October and November on Saturday and Sunday, stalls line the streets with their various ‘aperitivo‘, along with wines and truffles. What an amazing way to relax!

Panorama of Borgomanero Piedmonte

Alba, Piedmont- M^3 [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Red Wines – Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto and Barbera

Nebiollo, that is the difference between all other wines and the red wines from Piedmont. This grape could be described as the second most delicious grape after the Pinot Noir.

There are four vineyards in Piedmont that all compete with each other: Barolo, BarbarescoDolcetto and Barbera

Piedmonte, Italy - Barola Wine Museum

Barola Wine Museum – Megan Mallen [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

There are many things that distinguish wines, but the main one that distinguishes these four wines is their ‘cru‘, meaning growth in French. So this means where the wine was produced, and the quality of those vineyards. The top wine is Barolo with 11 communes, which is nicknamed the ‘King Wine of Italy’, where Barbaresco is the ‘Queen Wine of Italy’ with 5 communes.

Another distinguishing factor is that Barolo and Barbaresco are both produced in the Langhe region in the Southern parts of Piedmont, where wines are made with 100% of Nebiollo grapes. However, Dolcetto and Berbera are both produced in the Northern regions of Piedmont, where wines are mixed.

Barolo wine in Piemonte Piedmont

Megan Mallen [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Piedmont Hazelnuts

Piedmont is known for their unique hazelnuts, which they use to make Gianduja – a delicious Italian chocolate sauce made of 30% hazelnuts. These hazelnuts are delicate and smooth, where the pulp is nice and crunchy. The hazelnuts are harvested, 3,500 kg per hectare, and then dried either by a warm dryer or the sun.

These unique fruits are grown in the beautiful Alta Langhe region of Piedmont – Northern Piedmont.

Panorama landscape of Langhe, Piedmonte

Langhe – Phalaenopsis Aphrodite from Italy [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hazelnuts produce significant health benefits, being one of the healthiest dried fruits in Italy. This helps to maintain a low cholesterol level, and they have many antioxidants which lower risks of infections. Do we need more reasons to eat these gorgeous fruits?

Hazelnuts

Fir0002 at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Out of these three products, we are huge wine fans here at Flavours and agree that Barolo is definitely the King Wine of Italy! What is your favourite produce from Piedmont?