09 April 2008

Trek to Torino to Eataly

Spring is a fickled season, and today, has been no exception with a few snow flurries with a warming trend this evening. So I thought a stroll back to this autumn and a visit to Torino's latest food sensation, "Eataly" seemed like as good a time as any other. I couldn't quite keep up with all of the events and festivals last autumn, so now it is between times, so I think I'll revisit it.
Torino's Eataly, opened last April in an old Carpano aperitif factory, just across the street from the original Fiat factory that has been refurbished as the Lingotto shopping mecca and convention center. Carpano was an apple liqueur that was made for many years in Torino. They kept a corner of this massive old factory building as a small museum to preserve a piece of Torino's history. There is a long tradition of cordials, liqueurs, digestivos, amaro, and grappa made in Torino and surrounding Piedmont by many small producers of these specialty drinks that Italians are so fond of. Everyone makes them at home as well, but that is another story.
I hadn't really heard anything about Eataly until some of our guests last summer mentioned it and got me intrigued to discover what it was all about. What a discovery. Walking into this supermercato of all things remotely plant, animal, vegetable, drink and more rolled up into a mega Italian cuisine extravaganza, well that would be Eataly. To say I was mildly bowled over would be an understatement. Having been in Europe for awhile I have gotten use to smaller specialized stores and going to all the small specialized shops and markets to pick up the different elements of the food adventure, that wen I walked into an American sized and styled food store, it was completely absorbing. Fabrizio had a conference next door at the Lingotto and I had a good four hours to fully explore the place. It wasn't enough time. I kid you not.
The concept seems to be "Slow Food" of Piemonte meets "Whole Foods" of America. Slow food has been consultants and they say they aren't partnered in, but it is definitely a showcase for all things Italian, and specifically all things Slow food and Piedmont. it's rather nice to see Piedmont featured so prominently. It's well laid out with just about the whole gamut covered. There are places to sample a bit of the goods dotted around the place and they have cooking courses going on with celebrity chefs and featuring the foods of this region and seasonally offered.
Wandering around all the different nooks and crannies kept me engrossed in all the different treasures to be discovered. I almost did make it round the the first part when I discovered the free use of the Internet on the 8 full sized Macintosh computers they had by the front door. As we were having computer and Internet challenges once again, I was thrilled to have a spin around their Macintosh world first thing, but opted to stroll around a little before letting the Internet dictate to me once again.

I'm so glad I did. Right around the corner was the fresh pasta station with the wall- o- pasta

A wood fired bread oven that stole my heart
And apparently caught everyone else's attention.
Top of the line local Piemonte white and black truffles. The smell was intoxicating
Cellars with Grana Padano and Proscuitto crudo

All manner of fish and somewhere to sample the wares. Wash it all down with beer from Val Chisone or wine of Piedmont.
Just one more reason, for when you're in the neighborhood to check out Torino's Eataly
for one stop shopping on all the highest of quality foods that you can afford.
Fortunately, looking is free.


rowena said...

I've heard of Eataly but never thought to check it out...thanks you so much for posting this. A visit to Torino is due some time soon--we heard about the fire at Moncalieri and it alarmed MotH immediately since we used to eat at the nearby pizzeria all the time!

Ann said...

Wow! It's like food heaven!

Lori Lynn said...

Oh my! How fantastic! I'll take the truffles...

Anonymous said...

Hi Marla and thanks for the little tour. I love the wall of macaroni :)

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

That is just amazing...I just wouldn;t be able to choose my "Pasta"

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