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Northern Italian Cuisines


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La Cucina Piemontese
Brasato al Carema, Beef Braised in Carema wine.

Brasato al Carema, Beef Braised in Carema wine.

© Kyle Phillips Licensed to About.com
Of the various Italian regional cuisines, Piemonte's is one of the most multifaceted.
On the one hand, the Region was ruled by the future Kings of Italy, who enjoyed extremely refined dishes at court. A meal at a good Piemontese restaurant today will begin with a long series of antipasti, which may include, among other things, chopped raw beef with shaved white truffles (in season), delicate, creamy cheese tarts, a vegetable flan, and a delicate salad. These may be followed by agnolotti, stuffed pasta seasoned with the drippings from a roast, or risotto (Aborio rice is Piemontese), or tajarin, egg noodles seasoned with meat sauce or butter and shaved truffles, followed in turn by a rich main course along the lines of brasato al Barolo, beef braised in Barolo wine. Desserts are equally elegant, for example panna cotta or hazelnut cake, and to finish up, with your coffee you may have Gianduiotti, creamy candies made from chocolate hazelnut paste that are a specialty of Torino's chocolatiers.

On the other, there is a rich peasant tradition with much earthier dishes, including the extraordinarily garlicky bagna caoda, ravioli in Barbera wine (in the Province of Alessandria), and bollito misto, a selection of boiled meats and vegetables that Piemonte's Crown Princes were known to sneak out of court to enjoy.

And to tie it all together, Piemonte boasts some of the world's finest wines, including Gavi, Dolcetto, Barbera, Barbaresco, Barolo.

Paradise on Earth.

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