Guglielmo Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

The past week has been a rough one on my stomach, eating and drinking in Piedmont, an region in the North-West of Italia. Obviously I can’t complain because I am living quite the hedonistic lifestyle out here.. eating fine meats and drinking fine wines to my liver’s and stomach’s capacity…

Piedmont, home of the city of Turin (Torino in Italian) is famous for its sweet delicacies, specifically chocolates, candies, and pastries. Home of the Gianduja (the original Nutella), we were taken to the birth of it all, Guido Gubino’s chocolate factory.

Upon walking into the small workshop off a hidden side street in the center of Turin, the smell of freshly crushed cacao beans and hazelnut puree overwhelmed my senses. My mouth started to water as I took a self guided tour around the merch counters at the front of the factory. Towers of perfectly constructed chocolates, bon bons, truffles, hazelnut delights, each one more tempting than the next. Just as I was getting ready to rip open a box of the treats, we were asked to put on the protective garbs and take a trip into the heart of the factory.

Expecting to see oompa loompas prancing around and singing to the beat of the production line, I was not too far off in my prejudgments. The factory was dominated by what seemed to be over caffeinated women, extremely enthusiastic about the product, and eager to give us a taste. The rest of the factory workers were extremely flamboyant Italian men who expressed the same level of enthusiasm for their tea-infused truffles as a night at an Elton John concert… you get the idea.

At the end of the tour, we were offered a tasting of various chocolate delights freshly produced by the happy go lucky people downstairs, including: chocolate truffle infused with sea-salt and extra virgin olive oil (an award winner), chocolate covered ginger, 80% extra bitter dark chocolate buttons, Gianduja hazelnut bits, and crema di cioccolato.

If that wasn’t enough, right after the factory tour at Guido Gobino we were bussed off like slaughterhouse cows to the Pastiglie Leone candy factory on the other side of town….will write about that experience later because all this talking about candy is making my teeth hurt. For more info on the Guido Gobino chocolate company, click here

Needless to say, after all the candy, heavy meats (typical to Piemontese cuisine) and typical wines (Barolo, Nebbiolo, Barbera, etc) I am on a serious detox diet, only fruits and vegetables for me this week. My liver needs a break.

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