Piedmont, as far as I knew, was just another region of Italy—one with few, if any, well-known cities and
almost no tourist attractions. Today the Piedmont area is getting a tremendous amount of press thanks to the
previously unknown town of Turin which is now hosting the Winter Olympics.
After the Olympics are over, however, Piedmont will undoubtedly fade from memory while Turin will remain entrenched
in everyone’s mind as nothing more than a ski resort.
Piedmont, however, has much, much more to offer.
A tantalizing LA Times article by
Catherine Saillant stays clear of the snow-and-ski theme dominating today’s press and focuses instead upon
why the area is truly beloved amongst in-the-know Italians: its food.
Saillant signed on to a culinary tour arranged through Culinary Arts
International in Santa Barbara. The week long tour wound its way through the region, stopping off for morning
cooking classes, three-course lunches, and multi-course dinners. As you might imagine, wine played a dominate role
in the trip as well.
The highlight of her travels, however, revolved around the region’s true specialty: the white truffle.
Saillant joined a hunting expedition in which a trained dog sniffed out the culinary gems ($300 an ounce) buried in the
rich earth. Her favorite meal of the trip, a simple fried egg coated with thin shavings of truffle, speaks to the
power this amazing fungus holds among foodies.
If I ever make it to Piedmont, I’m skipping the obligatory tour of the Olympic grounds and heading straight
for the restaurants instead. You should think about doing the same.