Friday, March 13, 2009

Feste del Cioccolato!

Sorry it's been a while since we've posted; March has been a quiet month. But we did manage to participate in a treasured local tradition. As some of you know, Torino is known for being the first place to invent solidified chocolate--as in a chocolate bar, as opposed to liquid chocolate, which used to be all the rage in the 16th and the 17th centuries. With that sort of history, it only makes sense that Torino would happily celebrate its heritage by having an Annual Chocolate Festival.

"Le Grand Feste del Cioccolato" consists of a collection of tents gathered in the Piazza Venezia--one of Torino's largest piazzas. Hopefully you can see some of the tents behind me!

To be brutally honest, it's hard to get chocolate in Torino without some sort of hazelnut flavoring. A local favorite is called 'gianduia,' which is usually just different types of chocolate and hazelnut but can occasionally become something more adventures. Below are gianduia spreads (I've counted at least eleven), all different flavors. If you blow up the picture, you can see the labels, some of which are easy to translate, such as 'Gianduia - Rhum.' Peperoncino is exactly what it sounds like: chocolate-hazelnut cream with chili pepper seasoning. Yum?

Here's John proudly showing off yet more chocolate. A key phrase to learn for an event like this is "Posso assagiare?" which means "Can I try (some)?" Most of sellers had sampler trays out for you but if they didn't, they were happy to share their product whenever you asked.

What follows is a series of optical allusions. Everything you see is made of chocolate. Everything. Even the armor.



Formal wear

Replica Roman armor

(Well, okay, maybe not the armor--that was at an outdoor market and taken largely for my brother Ryan's benefit.)

Breakfast with more salami

To finish the optical illusion series, here we have a chocolate kebab. On the top is what a real kebab looks like (roasted layers of meat cooked on a vertical spit, then shaved and put into a pita). On the bottom is the impostor (note the little sandwich on top).

And here's us with the Gianduia man.

That's all for today, ragazzi! We hope we've watered your appetite just a little bit! Love, John and Lindsey


  1. Wow - what wonderful pictures. I am amazed. Thanks so much!!

  2. What???
    A CHOCOLATE festival and I missed it??? Please tell me it isn't so!