In 1560, to celebrate the transfer of the Ducal capital from Chambéry to Torino, Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy symbolically served the city a steaming cup of hot chocolate. It is in this way that a long love story between Torino and chocolate began: a passion that throughout the centuries has stimulated the imagination of master chocolatiers and has created specialties that are known all over the world.
Torino has found a way to express its flair for innovation through chocolate (video) as well. In fact, it is here that in the 18th century Bicerin, a hot beverage made with coffee, cocoa and cream is invented. At the beginning of the 19th century, experimentation began with equipment that turned cocoa blended with vanilla, water and sugar into solid bars. This is the birth of the chocolate bonbon, praline, truffle and chocolate creams. And then: the gianduiotto: the first chocolate bonbon to be individually wrapped, invented in 1865 when Michele Prochet mixed cocoa with the “Tonda Gentile” hazelnut from the Langhe area. The art of chocolate making does not end with the gianduiotto however: the alpino (filled with a liqueur-flavoured cream), preferiti and favoriti are other specialties that wins over and delights the most demanding sweet tooth.
Today Torino and its district is viewed as a major centre of Italian chocolate production, totalling 85,000 tons, equivalent to almost 40% of the national total. Standing alongside the large industrial chocolate manufacturers such as Ferrero, Caffarel or Streglio, there are artisan companies that continue Torino’s tradition of chocolate making, capable of re-elaborating it according to new tastes and trends. This commitment has been promoted by great names in artisan work at the foot of the Alps, from Stratta to Baratti&Milano, from Guido Gobino to Peyrano.
CioccolaTò, an chocolate festival hosted in Torino that features parties, events, sampling sessions, exhibits and live performances strictly related to the theme of chocolate, is a great place for fans, master chocolatiers as well as industrial and artisan companies on a national and international level to meet and compare.