MICHELIN Travel Discover the world
Home > > > > > > Gianduiotto of Turin, a history of quality

Nearby Restaurants

  • Magorabin
    Cotation :
    Type de cuisine : modern

  • Carignano
    Cotation :
    Type de cuisine : Mediterranean

  • Consorzio
    Cotation :
    Type de cuisine : Piedmontese

See all restaurants Turin

Gianduiotto of Turin, a history of quality

Gianduiotto of Turin, a history of quality

Mark Perna - 2008-11-17

There can be few culinary products so intrinsically associated with their region of origin as the Gianduiotto with Turin. Conceived from the expertise of master Piedmont chocolate makers, the chocolate is established as a renowned symbol of traditional Italian confectionery that is now recognised and enjoyed across the world.

A successful marriage
 
Some marriages are destined for turbulent ups and downs from the outset, others for blissful harmony. The decision to combine cocoa with the Langhe hazelnut was a fortunate one, creating the long and happy union that gave rise to the Gianduiotto. Indeed, should the Mole Antonelliana, that most famous of Turin landmarks, be replaced with a Gianduiotto tomorrow, it’s likely that the resulting Turinese protests would be somewhat muted, such is the standing of this delicious chocolate that has become as much a symbol of the Piedmont region’s capital city as the monument itself. Maybe it’s no coincidence that their origins are so contemporary and so similar: 1863 saw the first stone laid for the Mole, 1865 for the first production of Gianduiotto.
 
A need for excellence
 
The origin of Piedmont chocolate is unusual. Under Napoleonic rule, cocoa had become both expensive and almost impossible to source, creating huge difficulties for Turin’s chocolate making traditions. As part of continuing efforts to provide quality products that could meet the public’s exacting standards, Michele Prochet and Pier Paul Caffarel introduced a new type of chocolate to the market, created through a precise blend of cocoa and sugar with Tonda Gentile delle Langhe hazelnuts, renowned for their taste and quality. 
 
The outcome was so successful that Caffarel decided to refine the product further. First with the introduction of the distinctive upturned boat shape and then with a further innovation… wrapping the chocolate for the first time. Following its birth, the new chocolate was given the name "givù", a term taken from Piedmontese dialect which translates as “small delicacy".
 
The source of the term, Gianduiotto or Giandujotto, seems to stem from a carnival in 1866, when an actor dressed as a Gianduja (wearing a traditional Turin mask) had the idea of handing the famous chocolates to the crowd. This gesture served to provide the chocolates with a symbolic value, embodying the tenacious and pragmatic spirit and character of the carnival that seemed to say "the cocoa shortage doesn’t matter. We, the Turinese, will go on and we won’t stop for anything."
 
Measured ingredients and expert craftsmanship
 
The instantly recognisable shape of the Gianduiotto of Turin is crafted through a technique known as extrusion that sees the chocolate cast directly onto slates, without the use of moulds. Themixture demands a specific consistency, neither too solid nor too fluid, so as to ensure the exact quantity: no more than 12 grams per piece. T
 
he key ingredients: cocoa from Central or South America, cocoa butter, roasted Piedmont hazelnuts (I gp purity) purchased whole or in paste form and used in quantities of no less than 25%; vanilla beans or pure vanilla extract; sugar derived from either sugar beet or sugar cane.
 
The end result is unmistakable, not only in shape, but also in taste: a delicate and fragrant chocolate hazelnut that gently melts in your mouth.
 
PRACTICAL INFORMATION
 
Turin Tourism
piazza Castello 161, Torino
tel. 011 535181
www.turismotorino.org
 
Some places to visit and experience Gianduiotto
Caffè Baratti & Milano, piazza Castello 27 - Torino
Guido Gobino, Via Cagliari, 15/b - Torino
Peyrano, corso Vittorio Emanuele, 76 - Torino
Stratta, piazza San Carlo 191 – Torino

There can be few culinary products so intrinsically associated with their region of origin as the Gianduiotto with Turin. Conceived from the expertise of master Piedmont chocolate makers, the chocolate is established as a renowned symbol of traditional Italian confectionery that is now recognised and enjoyed across the world.

Top of page