Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We spent a couple of days in Torino, working our way up Italy and across into France. I was hoping to go to 2-starred Combal.Zero in nearby Rivoli for a bit of molecular gastronomy, but they never responded to my reservation request, so that was a bit of a let down (thanks guys!).

Uninspired by the restaurants around and inspired by the massive food hall across the road from the hotel, we ate dinner in the hotel room on both nights. On one hand, it was a shame not to be able to appreciate some of the local restaurants (especially during truffle season), but on the other hand, it was pretty great eating nothing but bread, amazing cheese (truffled peccorino, truffled brie, burrata, etc, etc, etc) and prosciutti for two nights and sinking a lot of local wine.

One thing I'm loving over here is that the quality of certain produce is just miles ahead what I can get in Sydney. Every cheese, in particular, is at it's peak of ripeness and has been handled well.

Everything is so fresh and vibrant. This was brought to a head on the afternoon I visited the huge open air market at the north of the city. What looked like hundreds of stalls were set up, selling everything seasonal you can imagine, red ripe tomatoes, juicy berries, just-arrived porcini mushrooms and fragrant herbs (all of which were somehow sweet). For a few euros I got a deliciously fresh lunch, topped off with an amazing pastry from one of the stalls.

Turin is a beautiful city with a huge history of stellar food and wine. I definitely want to come back one day and spend a bit more time there (particularly in the food markets).

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