Barolo: Food as Art

There’s a thing about Italy you should know. If you go to a wine region, you’re most likely to get great food even in the smaller, less expensive places. These things go together: wine|food.

zuppa di verdure
Zuppa di verdure

So today we arrive in Barolo and check out our digs at TorreBarolo. Sweet. Then we amble down the street about 25 meters and find an osteria. Now, in the old days, an osteria was one of those places that served grizzly old men great heaps of food to keep them working in the vineyards and such. Today, you never know. Our sole reason for picking the place was due to its proximity to our rented tower. We came to find out it served not only good food, but food with a rather spectacular presentation.

The first picture shows you what the simple Zuppa di Verdure (vegetable soup) looks like. You see, it has a cup-like deal made of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese that cradles the croutons smack in the middle of it. That is, when it comes to your table it is a cup—but when the heat from the soup starts to have its way with the cup, it collapses, or better, it unfolds like a flower over the top of your soup, leaving a cheesy web over the top. It’s foodie performance art.

tortina with greens and fonduta
Tortina with greens and fonduta

But the zuppa ain’t so purty as the next picture. No, this picture, taken by Martha of Italy Travel, who travels with me because nobody else will, should be in the food picture hall of fame, methinks. What you have is the same Parmigiano cup, but with hot, cheesy fonduta flowing gracefully from it. There’s a half cherry tomato in there for color, as if it were an egg that someone had photoshopped until it glowed with unreal colors. Ok, behind it in the shadows is the actual dish. It’s a tortino di bietole, a swiss chard cake laid in some filo dough and baked. Izat spectacular or what?

cotechino in a packet
Cotechino with fonduta

A lesser picture, because I took it, is that of my dish, a cotechino sausage set atop some cheese (probably a tomino), and wrapped in a filo “sacchetto”. It has the same fonduta setup as Martha’s, so it looks almost the same as her plate. It was quite tasty.

bonet
Bonet

Then Martha had the audacity to order dessert. It is a local thing called bonet. It’s a chocolate pudding cake. Sound plebeian? Look at that sucker, willya?

The whole deal cost us 50 Euros, tax and tip included. It was a great meal that included a glass of Dolcetto and one of Nebbiolo. Oh, the name of the restaurant is Barolando @ Piazza Municipio 2 in Barolo.


Barolo: Food as Art originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com , updated: Aug 21, 2015 © .

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