The Gianduia tradition
One of the most delicious of Italian inventions is gianduja, and the best place to taste this chocolate it is Turin, Italy. About 60% of Italy’s chocolate comes from this city on the River Po, in northern Italy’s Piedmont region. If you’ve ever tasted the creamy combination of chocolate and hazelnuts called Nutella, you’ve had a slight hint of the flavor of this unique product. Therefore in Turin there are dazzling array of shops, and the chocolate in dozens of forms is as important as pasta and truffles to the city’s cuisine. The classic gianduja (also called gianduia and probably other spellings as well) is a mixture of chocolate, sugar and about 30% hazelnut paste. Modern versions may include almonds, walnuts, or bittersweet chocolate. Gianduiotti, boat-shaped chocolates, and Ferrero Nutella have similar ingredients.
Tradition, agricolture, economic necessity, and smart thinking created these now-famous products. Back in the 18th century, Turin’s chocolate makers imported raw materials from across the Atlantic, turned them into fine chocolate, and exported 750 pounds a day. They were known as the best producers of chocolate, even the Swiss came to Turin to learn the trade. Then, in 1806, Napoleon interfered by setting up a naval blockade, which limited supplies and and making their availability problematic. So the inventive Italians turned to one of their prized farm products, hazelnuts, to stretch the now-scarce, expensive imports. The nuts grown in the hills near Piedmont happen to be the world’s most flavorful, and when they were roasted, ground, and mixed with chocolate, they turned into a delectable treat. It was named after a Piedmont carnival's comic character, Gioan d’la Duja. The hand-molded candy, each piece wrapped in foil, was introduced in the mid-19th century and since then has been one of the most popular symbols of Turin.
Source: I Like Italy
Related Posts / Articoli correlati