The gold of Piedmont: Why this Italian chocolate is decided

(CNN) – There’s the chocolate, and then there’s the gianduiotto chocolate. An ancestor of Nutella, the mouth -watering sweetener is rarely as sweet.

Like much of the famous Italian barley, gianduiotto is from Piedmont, Italy, where it is considered “the king of Italian chocolate.”

Made with a sweet paste in good blood combined with premium hazelnuts grown in the Langhe region of Piedmont, it is very popular with locals.

Some have espresso for breakfast, and / or after meals, along with snacks and drinks.

Usually wrapped in a light color, gold or aluminum alloy, the ingot style has been created by local chocolatiers here for centuries.

His birthplace is the country’s capital, Turin, which has been known as Italy’s “chocolate boss” since chocolate chocolatiers began making their own delicious desserts for the House. of Savoy, the monarch founded in the Savoy province of Italy, here in the 1500s.

Serious college

Gianduiotto chocolate is made from a blood sugar mixed with hazelnuts.

Gianduiotto chocolate is made from a blood sugar mixed with hazelnuts.

A.Giordano Torino

The name gianduiotto is thought to come from the carnival image of Gianduja, a wine -loving farmer, famous in the 1800s, who instilled the epicurean style of the locals.

Formerly called givù (or stubs,) gianduiotto became famous when the public’s real taste for food was first seen as food was served during Turin’s carnival celebrations. 1865 by an actor dressed as Gianduja.

According to Guido Castagna, gianduiotto is more important than the famous chocolate. It is a symbol of Turin, and a big part of the character of the city.

“Poor gianduiotto, it was born as a second class for blood,” Castagna told CNN.

“It’s a low base but it’s become an elite, niche product of the highest quality, it’s the first thing that’s covered. [in foil] to the history of chocolate. ”

Gianduiotto was born out of a right – to overcome anemia in Europe.

When Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Northern Italy and declared war on Britain in 1806, he banned all goods imported into England, including blood beans.

As a result, pastry makers in Turin decided to turn it into something closer to home – hazelnuts that grew abundantly in the lush hills around it.

After mixing them with the least amount of sugar and blood they had on their plates, they were able to make a sweet paste that was cleaned and garnished with gianduiotto.

A century or so later, Pietro Ferrero, a chef from Piedmont, created Nutella based on that ancient dish.

The good of the world?

Hazelnuts can be found to make gianduiotto which grows in the Langhe region of Italy.

Hazelnuts can be found to make gianduiotto which grows in the Langhe region of Italy.

Cooper / photo gallery / Getty Images

After the 1800s, hazelnuts were very popular, Castagna said, but things are very different now. Not only are they more expensive, but the “tonda gentile” hazelnuts produced in Langhe have Protected Geographical Indication status, a European name for protection against local foods.

“They are the gold of Piedmont, the best in the world,” he added, before explaining that hazelnuts were sold at € 16 per kilo and € 10 per kilo for high blood pressure. .

Rich in essential oils, they combine with, and enhance the taste of blood butter, creating a soft, voluptuous and creamy concoction.

“Gianduiotto is a special kind of chocolate with black, white, and milk chocolate,” Castagna says.

The most delicious gianduiotti are those with the highest percentage, between 25 and 40%, of hazelnuts.

Castagna uses a technical process called “extrusion,” in which semi-solid pieces of gianduia paste are pressed onto a plate in the form of gianduiotti.

In ancient times, the making of gianduiotti was a ritual. The process of repeatedly pressing the hazelnut paste gives it consistency and then kneads like pizza dough.

The women, called “gianduiere,” sit in pairs around a table with a gianduia plate placed in the center.

Then, they gathered with two long spatulas, rolled several times, and cut into small pieces with a butter knife, tossed on a plate to hold.

Grandmothers always made fresh and delicious gianduiotti for their grandchildren, which they picked from the chocolate makers, usually after they stopped at the bakery.

By the 1960s, Turin was packed with hundreds of smart shops. But when labor costs go up and labor begins, they start to lose money.

Honed craft

Doing gianduiotto by hand requires precision.

Doing gianduiotto by hand requires precision.

Ramella Alberto / AGF / Universal Film Group / Getty Images

Now there is only one left – the A.Giordano store. Only a handful of giants remain in the famous chocolate factory, which was founded in 1897.

“We’re the only ones who make gianduiotti by hand. It’s very expensive to use those skills,” said owner Laura Faletti.

“It’s a job only for women to do, because it requires a lot of passion, patience and honesty. It’s like hand -sewing. It’s very tiring, it’s worth it.” u to turn my gianduiere in changes, that they may not get their hands on the fleshy throat. “

To make the gianduiotti, they press the gianduia mixture into strips similar to lasagne. These pieces are then cut and pounded into an old granite bowl, similar to those used in the past, Faletti said.

Gianduiera Ambra Nobili, 32, has been making A. Giordano’s gianduiotti since graduating from a local pastry school.

“It’s a noble chocolate, I’ve always wanted it,” Nobili said. “I was full of joy when after a hard day’s work, cutting and producing 48 kilograms of gianduiotti with another gianduiera, I finally saw how good and beautiful they looked. and how I continue to improve. “

The secret of the process, says Nobili, lies in the steady and quick movement of the wrists and hands to pick up the punch before gripping it, which is sharpened with spatulas and given to the Final cut with a butter knife to obtain a prism-like shape. kinona.

“If the cut isn’t good, the gianduiotto is too long, or shorter, and doesn’t fit into the gold aluminum roll, which is attached to a precise size,” he explains. to them. ”

Very clean

Artisan chocolatier Guido Castagna has created an excellent refined form of gianduiotto chocolate called Giuinott.

Artisan chocolatier Guido Castagna has created an excellent refined form of gianduiotto chocolate called Giuinott.


Gianduiotto is not available all year. Photo shops stop working when the spring is approaching to prevent the sale of melted chocolate, which is another delicacy made with gianduia hazelnut paste.

For those who prefer their chocolate on a Nutella-style plate, gianduiotto has its own signature, “crema spalmabile di Gianduja,” with a little detail that tastes good on the bread.

Like gianduiotto, crema spalmabile di Gianduja is made with precision.

“Our announcement is the result of 72 hours of mixing and mixing the paste – that’s three full days, while the other gianduia leaves are ready in four hours.

While Faletti’s is made with 40% gianduia hazelnuts, Castagna’s is 68%.

Castagna reinvented gianduiotto by creating an excellent refined image called Giuinott (meaning “young boy” in the local language) with premium Venezuelan cacao and sugar instead of sugar. sugar cane and 40% hazelnuts.

A six -time gold medalist at the International Chocolate Awards, an independent competition that recognizes the quality of good chocolate, Giuinott comes in a moving brass roll.

Castagna often offers wine tasting, combining Giuinott with Piedmont’s Vermouth wine and other bitter drinks such as passito, which he believes will accomplish the delicious chocolate experience.

Some chocolatiers also tried new gianduiotto wheels, as well. You can find orange gianduiotti, as well as large ones between 250 grams and 1.2 kilograms. But the big bag is the most popular.

Davide Appendino, one of Turin’s finest chocolatiers, uses many of the finest healthy blood beans to make pistachio, coffee, white chocolate, dark chocolate and free gianduiotti sold in colored covers.

Appendino also produces mini gianduiotti, which is much smaller than the traditional ones.

But, as the Italians say, “chocolate calls somewhere else,” and when it comes to gianduiotto chocolate, it’s hard to resist the temptation to eat the whole piece, even though most of them.

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