It's been a while since the last 10 Do's and Don'ts , New Orleans (September 2014) was published.
This new installment on Turin was actually first published by Lucia Hannau on Turin Epicurean earlier today (June 6).
10 Do's and Don'ts in Turin
Our Twitter friend Serge the Concierge invited us to write this post following his do's and don'ts frame.
Naturally, there are many things to do and see here, but these are the basics.
1. Spend at least 5 days because Turin is amazing and 1 day isn't enough.
2. Start your day with a bicerin, the local decadent coffee made of espresso, cream and chocolate:P Life is short!
Via Garibaldi near Piazza Statuto
3. Walkdowntown as much as you can: from Piazza Statuto to Piazza Vittorio Veneto, going through Via Garibaldi, Piazza Castello, Via Po, Via Roma and Via Lagrange. There are many pedestrian streets and lots of shops, coffee places and beautiful palazzos, it will give you a sense of the city. if it rains no problem, we have over 12km/7miles of porticoes!
4. If you are staying somewhere with a furnished kitchen and you can cook, do your grocery shopping at the neighborhood market, even better at Porta Palazzo market, the largest open air market in Europe, located in the heart of Turin.
5. Try a different gelateria - gelato place, every day! Each gelato production is very different and each gelateria has its own specialties :D
6. Take advantage of aperitivo - aperitif! This Italian custom was born in Turin, so you'll experience first hand the real Turin lifestyle: after 6pm, most coffee shops cover their bars with finger food trays, lunch meats, bite size cheese portions, antipastos and even pastas! You can fill up your dish at least 2 for about 12Euros including a glass of wine or beer. This is indeed a scrumptious dinner on the budget!
7. Do visit in November because there are many things going on! On November 1 the light installations are turned up for the winter and each street displays a different pattern. The Turin Cinema Festival is around mid-November and during the last 10 days of the month there's the Chocolate Fest!
8. Do visit in April because our chocolate Easter eggs are huge and all the bakeries and coffee shops around town have amazing windows and displays
9. Visit the National Cinema Museum in Mole Antonelliana after lunch, so you can relax on the red velvet chaises longues, plus it's cool in the summer and warm in the winter. As this is the tallest building in Europe, the view from the top is just unbelievable!
Pepino in Piazza Carignano is a gelato institution
10. Take the city's piazzas like your living-room: when you are tired sit down in one of the manyhistorical cafés, order a velvety hot chocolate in the cold months, a vermouth before dinner or an iced coffee in the summer and enjoy your time and the people watching.
1. Don't rely on Milan's airports, land and depart directly from Turin (TRN) if you are flying, it's just more convenient.
2. Don't cross the street without checking the traffic in both directions and don't expect bus drivers to speak English; walk or use the metro (subway) it's quicker and easier.
3. Don't order wines from other Italian regions or countries! Piedmont is the Italian Burgundy because it produces top quality wines and you can easily try a new one at every meal.
4. Don't miss the Royal Palace of Venaria aka Turin's Versailles: in the summer you can have an early dinner in the royal gardens. If the King had his parties here, you can only imagine how beautiful it is!
5. Don't forget to visit the Queen's villa! This is a royal residence with one of the 3 urban vineyards in the world!! The Villa itself is beautiful and always open but before visiting the vineyard, contactBalbiano to know when it's open for the harvest (usually between the end of September and the beginning of October depending on the weather).
6. Don't skip the Egyptian museum!! You'll be amazed by its impressive collection of everyday objects, perfectly preserved papyri and mummies!
Agnolottini del plin
7. Don't be scared and try the local culinary specialties: Turin is a real epicurean capital with the most refined Italian cuisine. From risottos to desserts, a whole new culinary world will open up to you! Forget about the Italian food you already know.
8. Don't leave Turin without sampling local wines, beers, grappas and cocktails but: don't get wasted, Italians don't get drunk in public and usually have food with their cocktails. Turin has such a long spirits tradition there's always a new drink waiting for you.
"Sar.To 2014" to celebrate the Turin hometown of Italian fashion and its designers
9. Don't look for mainstream fashion designers! Turin is the leading capital of design and there are LOTS of very talented indie fashion designers making one of a kind handmade pieces, like:
10. Don't assume Turin is just an industrial city, there is always something going on: art festivals in October, Fashion week, lots of special exhibits all year round, free concerts in the piazzas (jazz, classical), electronic music and DJs week-ends, chocolate festival, sports events, parades, you name it!
XL Gianduiotto - Turin's staple chocolate, at the Chocolate Fest
(* All photos and illustrations courtesy of Lucia and Turin Epicurean)
You'll need a shoulder to lean on for this recipe from Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World (Andrews McMeel, March 2015) by Atlanta chef Kevin Gillespie and David Joachim.
Tacos al Pastor
When I was 20, my Mexican friend Vincente took me to Mexico City for tacos al pastor. We walked up to this super-busy stall that had spits of marinated, sliced, and stacked pork rotating near a fire—almost like the meat for gyros. Pineapples rotated near the fire right next to the pork. The tacos are called al pastor because missionaries came from Jerusalem to Mexico and brought their Middle Eastern foodways with them. Over time, tacos al pastor became one of the most popular Mexican tacos. Go figure. Anyway, here’s my veiled attempt to nail down the spicy-sweet-savory flavors. The texture is nearly impossible to get right without 200 pounds of sliced pork rotating on a spit. Instead, I use trim and scraps of pork shoulder, cut them small, and then sear the pork in a smoking-hot pan. Garnish the meat with spicy salsa and some chopped onion and cilantro, and it makes a damn fine taco.
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch cubes, about
2 cups, or 1 (20-ounce) can unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained
1 medium Vidalia onion, cut into rough chunks
10 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound lean pork shoulder, cut into ¾-inch chunks (see Worth Knowing)
3 teaspoons grapeseed oil or canola oil
8 fresh corn tortillas
½ cup sour cream
1 bunch cilantro
Reserve ½ cup pineapple chunks and onion and refrigerate for later use. Combine the remaining pineapple, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes in a blender and blend to a paste. Place the meat and marinade in a gallon-size zip-top bag, squeeze out excess air, and zip closed. Refrigerate overnight.
Strain the pork and discard the marinade.
Heat a sauté pan over high heat. Add just enough of the oil to the pan for a thin coating and heat until the oil just starts to smoke. Working in batches, add the tortillas in a single layer and heat just until starting to char, about 1 minute per side, then flip and cook for another minute. Wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm.
Add just enough of the oil to cover the pan, swirl to coat, and heat until smoking. Add the pork and reserved pineapple and cook for 1 minute, or until browned. Shake the pan to flip the meat and cook until the pork is cooked through and the pan juices have cooked dry, about 7 minutes, shaking the pan frequently.
In a small bowl, combine the sour cream with the juice of ½ lime and whisk until smooth. Cut the remaining ½ lime into 4 wedges. Coarsely chop ½ cup cilantro leaves. Reserve 4 sprigs.
Serve the tortillas topped with the meat and pineapple mixture, reserved pineapple and onion, chopped cilantro, a drizzle of the lime sour cream, a lime wedge, and whole sprig of cilantro.
Look for a lean shoulder roast for this recipe. It will be a piece of a boneless Boston butt. Get the smallest and leanest roast you can find, which will probably be 2 to 3 pounds. If you get a piece with excess fat, just trim it away before cutting the meat into chunks.
( * Recipe reproduced with permission from Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World by Kevin Gillespie and David Joachim. Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, March 2015)
On chilly winter nights, my mom would sometimes whip up a batch of warm vanilla or butterscotch pudding and top it with Nilla Wafers and sliced ripe bananas. She would often serve these perfect puddings in little glass ramekins, which made dinner seem very fancy. Now at home with my little ones, I always make sure we have a box of Nilla Wafers in the pantry, as you never know when pudding, bananas, and Nillas will be needed as a treat! My recipe for banana cream pie is an ode to the creamy banana memories of my childhood. I coat the pie shell with a thin layer of dark chocolate to help the crust stay crispy under the pastry cream. If you prefer, a graham cracker crust can be substituted for the traditional piecrust here. ★M.G.
1 blind-baked Classic Piecrust (page 112)
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips, melted
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch, sifted
4 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 very ripe bananas, sliced about ⅛ inch thick
1½ cups heavy cream
½ cup ground Salted Toffee
Using a pastry brush, evenly coat the bottom and sides of the blind-baked piecrust with the melted chocolate, and set the crust in the refrigerator to set the chocolate.
In a medium sauce pan, heat the milk, vanilla bean and seeds, and vanilla extract over medium heat for about 3 minutes to bring the mixture to just below boiling. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, and salt. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the cornstarch mixture in thirds so as not to curdle the egg yolks. Return the entire mixture to the sauce pan and whisk constantly until the pastry cream is thick, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the softened butter. Remove the pastry cream from the stovetop and discard the vanilla bean pod. Fold in the sliced bananas. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the pastry cream surface. Chill the pastry cream for about 30 minutes so that it is cool enough not to melt the chocolate when it is added to the crust.
Once the pastry cream is cool, fill the prepared piecrust and cover the top with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the pastry cream surface. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
To serve, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Slice the pie into even slices, dollop each slice with whipped cream, and sprinkle the pie slices with ground salted toffee. Alternatively, if taking the pie to an event or for a dramatic presentation, top the entire pie with the whipped cream and ground salted toffee. The pie will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Makes one 9-inch double crust or two 9-inch single crusts
The piecrust: It scares some, but it was my favorite pastry to master. In my early days in the bakeshop, I always had so much fun mixing, kneading, and rolling out the dough—even if the crust did not turn out right! This recipe was developed over time and through many attempts to find the right balance between good butter flavor and the delicate texture that lard creates, plus the perfect mix of sugar and salt. With very few ingredients in a crust, it’s important to use the highest quality ingredients possible. I recommend using a good-quality butter that’s high in butterfat, such as Plugra, to ensure that the crust will form properly, and a delicate salt like kosher or sea salt. Remember: Making pie is not easy, and there is no bakeshop secret to becoming a great pie maker. Patience and practice are the keys.
2⅓ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted
½ cup cold lard, cubed
½ cup ice water
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and set in the freezer for 30 minutes; you want all the components to be very cold in order to get the flakiest crust possible. Place the cubed butter and lard on a baking sheet and set in the freezer to chill until hard.
Attach the bowl with the dry ingredients to the food processor. Add the cold butter and lard to the dry ingredients in two additions, pulsing to combine after each addition. Slowly add the ice water to the mixture, pulsing to combine until a dough forms. As soon as the dough holds together in the food processor, quickly transfer the dough to a cold work surface. Knead the dough just until smooth, working the fat into streaks and being careful not to overwork the pie dough. Divide the dough in half and flatten each piece into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
Crimp the pie dough around the edge and set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before proceeding. The pie crusts can be kept frozen in the pie pans (or in a disk for the top crust), each double-wrapped in plastic, for up to 1 month.
To blind-bake (bake the crust before adding the pie filling), preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the frozen shell with a coffee filter and fill the liner with pie weights or uncooked pinto beans. Press the beans lightly into the shell to ensure that the edges are weighed down. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through the cooking time, until the outer edge of the crimp looks dry and golden brown. Remove the shell from the oven and carefully remove the coffee liner and beans. If the liner sticks to the shell, return the shell to the oven to dry out for about 3 minutes and then try to remove the liner. Decrease the oven temperature to 350°F. Brush the crimped edge and the bottom of the shell with the beaten egg and then prick the bottom of the shell. Return the shell to the oven and continue to bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Set the baked shell aside until needed for final pie preparation.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from Made in America: A Modern Collection of Classic Recipes by Colby and Megan Garrelts, published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, April 2015...Photo by Bonjwing Lee)
Salsa Cinco de Mayo away with this recipe from Salsas and Moles, Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More (Ten Speed Press, April 2015) by Deborah Schneider of Sol Cocina...
Makes about 1 cup
The sweeter the fruit in a salsa, the hotter the chile has to be, and honey-sweet ripe mango is best matched with searing-hot habanero. But if habaneros are too hot for you, try substituting a minced serrano chile. I sometimes vary this salsa by including a couple of small mint leaves or a leaf of basil, minced and stirred in at the last moment.
1⁄2 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 tablespoon finely diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
1⁄4 teaspoon very finely minced habanero chile
1 and 1/2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 sprig cilantro, stemmed and minced
1/2 Roma tomato, diced into 1/4 inch pieces (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and taste. Season strongly; if the mangoes are not too sweet, you may want to add the 1⁄4 teaspoon of sugar. If you happen to have any leftovers, stir then taste and adjust the seasoning as desired before serving.
Serving Ideas: This classic salsa is good by itself, but it is a perfect complement to seafood of any kind. Try adding it to a green salad along with some diced cucumber and a light vinaigrette.
Each and every February 2, La Chandeleur is a day to fill your tummy with comfort food.
Crepes can be sweet, they can also be savoury like the 'Andouille Sausage-Cheese-Egg' crepe (below) which I discovered on the menu of Creperie du Vieux Port located in Port Haliguen, Quiberon in my native Morbihan (Brittany). They are celebrating their 40th anniversary.
Dominique and Christophe Cachat in National Crepe Day ( on now defunct blog 'A Taste of France', February 2010) note that "La Chandeleur, celebrated on February 2, is originally a religious holiday, yet today it is known as the day of crêpes. The story is that Pope Gélase gave crêpes to the pilgrims who arrived in Rome. The crêpes with their rond shape and golden color, signified the sun and helped Spring to arrive."
Menu for EAT! Vancouver Food and Cooking Festival 2015 is fresh off the press.
Quoting from press release:
As part of the expanded week-long lineup, EAT! Vancouver will host 15 top chefs from across Canada who will participate in 35 unique culinary events including:
A Collaborative Chef Dinner Series that sees EAT! guest chefs paired with Vancouver’s hottest kitchens to create 12 unforgettable dining experiences;
Seventeen exclusive Hands-on Workshops being held throughout the week at premier restaurants, chef’s private homes and artisan kitchens across the city;
The Canadian Flavors Gala in partnership with the Naramata Bench Wineries Association, featuring more than 15 top chefs from across Canada pairing unique local dishes with the first spring release wines from the Naramata Bench;
From May 1 to 3, EAT! Vancouver at BC Place features over 250 exhibitors celebrating food, drink and cooking, celebrity chefs from across Canada, including Ned Bell, Rob Feenie, Susur Lee, Mark McEwan, Anna Olson and Vikram Vij, as well as all-new programming such as:
The Canadian Food Artisan Pavilion sponsored by Edible Canada, which spotlights the country’s leading culinary artisans and their products;
The Craft Beer Alley sponsored by the BC Craft Brewers Guild, which features the best local craft beers, recognized globally for excellence;
Ticketsfor all EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival events go on sale March 5.
This 13th edition of EAT! Vancouver runs from April 26 to May 3rd, 2015.