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Slow food in Turin

One of the reasons I went to Turin is because of, what else, food, slow food to be exact. Slow food movement was born in 1986 as a protest against the coming of one Mc Donald’s outlet at the famous Spanish steps in Rome, Italy. Concerned of what might influence Italian eat culture, journalist Carlo Petrini gathered his friends to protest against this fast food invasion. During their rally they shouted ” We don’t want fast food, we want slow food!” Et voila the new culinary term was born.

Since that day slow food has grown to a world-wide culinary movement. It started in Rome and got embodied in Turin with the first Salone del Gusto in 1996. This is biennial international food fair with artisanal products from all over the world. Due to this fair, Turin is now dubbed as the capital of slow food.

What is slow food? Slow food is a way of life. It is a philosophy. Slow food is about taking pleasure in preparing and eating the food prepared with love and respect for the ingredients and the process. Slow food focusses on enjoying the freshest local ingredients from local food producers and preserving and celebrating local culinary traditions. I believe now you get the picture of why my husband chose Turin as our autumn break destination to surprise me.

Enough of this explanation. Now I just want to share pictures of food and drinks I devoured there.

Caffè Al Bicerin
As recommended by my host, I went to one of the oldest cafes in the city to drink Bicerin, a typical Torinese chocolate drink. It consists of layers of liquid dark chocolate, espresso and fluffy cream. Surprisingly it tastes light.

Bicerin Torino, Turin

Bicerin was invented in 1763 in this cafe that bears the same name. Caffè Al Bicerin is located in Piazza de la Consolata. It is an institution. I imagine that it barely has changed since the opening almost three centuries ago.

Caffe Al Bicerin Torino, Turin

This is the pastry corner with antique cookie tins, real antique not the pseudo prop vintage. Tourists and locals come here. I was lucky when I was there I could get a seat easily.

Al Biccerin

Turin is capital of Piemonte province. This region is well-known for vitello tonato, eggy full pasta, truffle and red wines (Barolo, Barbera & Barbaresca), aperitivo. A tip for Italian first timers; take the pranzo (lunch) arrangement which allows you to order one dish, half a liter wine and coffee/tea afterwards. Such lunch menu is also normal in other mediterranean countries like Portugal and Spain but I found the price in Turin to be very affordable. Most of the pranzo I had cost € 7 – € 8, compared to the prices I paid in Portugal and Spain for similar menu at € 10 and up. These are some of my pranzos.

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca: Spaghetti with anchovies, tuna, black olive in tomato sauce. That day I got Barolo wine to accompany the pasta.

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca Turin

And this was the dolce (dessert): an almond sponge cake on the bottom and hazelnut chocolate tart.

One rainy day I ordered Risotto ai Funghi with Porcini mushroom. That fresh sprig Rosemary was so aromatic.

One evening I had this good old bruschetta as starter. Pardon the low quality image. I didn’t bring my DSLR camera with me to dinner as I didn’t want to intrude other guests and most of all I wanted to fully experience the slow food.

This looks like tortellini but Piemontese people call this agnolotti; dumplings with tender meat filling. The fresh sage on top added a kick to this simple dish.

This is another Piemontese specialty which Italian name I forgot; baked potato with melted cheese and sausage.

baked potato Piemontese style

The plate of cold cuts and crisps on the side.


The cosy interior of one trattoria I visited. I love the medieval brick ceilings and the fresh colour tones.

trattoria in Torino

I leave you with dolci, desserts, sweets. This is gianduia ice cream. Gianduia is a Turin specialty, chocolate hazelnut spread which was invented during Napoleon administration. Italian most imported spread, Nutella, is actually gianduia.

This is a royal cup of gianduia gelato at Grom gelateria, located in Via Garibaldi.

This is creamy strawberry ice cream from Grom’s rival; Roma gelateria/pasticeria. This joint is located in front of Porto Nuova station.

And these, these are too pretty to eat cakes and tarts. I bought one for afternoon tea in the apartment, it was delicious.

I hope I succeeded in bringing the love for slow food in the picture here. Until the next culinary destination.

Slow food

35 thoughts on “Slow food in Turin

  1. Aku baru tau cerita tentang slow food ini. Menarik. Iya pernah diceritain Carlo tentang pas McD masuk Itali, semua pada protes. Duuh kok jadi pengen vitello tonnato yaaa hehehe. Disini harga pranzo rata emang segitu. Minimal 7€. 10€ kadang sudah dapat satu menu +coffe + dolce. Hehehe

    • Iya Gi. Di Italia lebih murah ternyata ya. Di Spanyol dan Portugal rata-rata € 10,- dengan menu yang sama. Sementara itu di Belanda, 1 panino bisa € 7,- harganya, belum pake minum. Anakku si G pingin balik lagi ke Torino, seneng dia disana.

  2. And to think I only had a panini (but it was one hell of a panini!) while I was in Turin cos everything was closed during the afternoon. It looks soooo delicious mbak Yo! I think I will go back to Turin just to eat!

  3. Ahhh, ternyata Slow Food itu ada ya? Kalau makan di restoran-restoran lokal indonesia dengan bumbu-bumbu tradisional itu bisa dikategorikan slow food juga ga ya mba?
    Saya selalu suka dengan cara mba mengambil gambar, ini pakai kamera smartphone ya mba?

    • Ada dari 1986. Sekarang sih ada McDonald’s di Italia. Hanya kemarin aku ngga lihat Starbucks di Turin which is ok because Italy is the land of good coffee.

      Kalau makan di restoran-restoran lokal indonesia dengan bumbu-bumbu tradisional itu bisa dikategorikan slow food juga ga ya mba? Selama bukan fastfood, bahan-bahannya segar tanpa pre processed ingredients termasuk slow food. Eat culture di Italia dan negara-negara Mediterania sama dengan di Asia menurutku; makan itu dinikmati, ngga usah cepet-cepet dan preparing the food with love.

      Di pos ini foto yang ngga ada tulisan lorraine image itu aku buat dengan iPhone, minimally edited. Hanya aku rubah terang gelapnya, sedikit ditajamkan that’s it. Sisa foto lainnya aku ambil dengan DSLR Nikon. Makasih Sandrine, itu komposisi dan lighting sambil terus praktek🙂

  4. slow food ini menarik ya, dan lebih sehat pastinya…pengen nyicip pastanya yg keliatan fresh, kue nya, aaak mau semua😆
    Tante ku cerita, sekali nyicip pasta di Itali, rasa pasta di tempat lain pasti selalu kalah enak🙂

    • Enak May, al dente terus sausnya ngga kebanyakan. Dan banyak sekali jenisnya. Belum es krim dan tart dsb…dsb…ke Italia musti wiskul🙂

      • Kalo kata tanteku mereka masaknya berbumbu tapi gak medok.
        Kalo disini kan makan pasta sausnya gak jauh2 dari bolognese atau carbonara atau aglio olio.
        Wah wiskul di Itali? Mesti banget tuh, sering baca makin rumahan resto nya makin enak makanannya. Penasaran banget😀

  5. And Iam so tempted to eat all of them. Slow food definetly has a strong and delicious taste ya mba. Ga kebayang berapa lama wktu persiapan masaknya. The tart OMG aku ngiler abis nih mba.

    • Bukan berarti harus strong taste sih Jo, yang penting bahan-bahannya seger, kalo bisa lokal dan on season. Aku kemarin di pasar Porta Palazzo cari buah fig ngga dapet, tanya ke tukang sayur dia bilang musimnya udah lewat jadi ngga jual.

  6. Waaaaw… makanannya sumpah Mbak, bikin lapar. Foto-fotonya diambil dengan cantik banget, saya kayaknya favorit pasta-pasta dan kue tart-nya sih :hihi. Makan makanan yang bersejarah di sebuah tempat yang kaya sejarah, pasti rasanya tak tergambarkan ya Mbak :hehe, sangat berkelas :)). Hebat sekali!

  7. How was the risotto? I have tried a few but from those that I tried, I did not really like the taste yet unfortunately😦 . But maybe that is because I still haven’t found the “true” one yet and indeed I did not have them in Italy😛 .

    Ah, Turin is definitely on my list now!!😀

    • I think most Indonesians don’t appreciate real risotto because the rice is supposed to be al dente while at the same time the dish ought to be be creamy because of the abundant white wine and stock. I too had to learn to appreciate it the first time I proved it as the original risotto contains al dente cooked rice, with a bite in the center of it.

      Yes you should Zilko. Milan is not far from Turin, nor Swiss🙂

      • Indeed, I think in the back of our mind we have set an expectation on how rice should be cooked. And risotto is certainly not within the class of “acceptable” rice dish😛 .

        Hahaha, indeed!🙂

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