and wine gastronomy in Asti Piedmont
The area surrounding the city of Asti is famous for its hills
which, thanks to the right slopes and a good exposure to the
sun, are the best place for the production of excellent wines.
Asti is renowned as "the capital of Spumante and Barbera
wines" and it is also the seat of the Concorso Enologico Nazionale
(National Oenological Competition) known as "Premio Douja d'Or"("Douja
Other quality wines are Arneis, Brachetto, Cortese, Dolcetto,
Freisa, Grignolino, Malvasia of Casorzo, Malvasia of Castelnuovo
D.B., Moscato of Asti and Ruché.
Piedmontese food tradition blends the everyday simplicity with
exquisite haute cuisine touches. The "stars" of this
regional cuisine are the Fritto Misto alla Piemontese (a platter
of different fried meats) and the Bagna Caôda,
a banquet of vegetables (both cooked and raw) such as the cardo
gobbo of Nizza (a kind of thistle) or the peperone quadro of
Motta (a kind of pepper) to be dipped into a hot anchovy-sauce
mixed with oil and garlic.
As for pasta dishes, agnolotti (ravioli), best served "al
plin", risottos, vegetable soups and "tajarin",
that is a kind of homemade tagliatelle (a particular kind of
The kings among the main courses are bollito misto (the one
prepared in Moncalvo is the best), meat and game cooked slowly
in fine wines.
The best known cheeses are the robiole of Cocconato and Roccaverano,
tome and ricotte.
Among the desserts, we can mention the delicious "bunet",
the Monferrina cake, stuffed peaches or tiny pastries, such
as amaretti of Mombaruzzo, finocchini of Refrancore, canestrelli
of Cinaglio, astigiani with rum.
We could never
forget to mention the white truffle, fruit
of the Piedmontese oak woods, with its distinctive and unforgettable
fragrance and, legend has it, its aphrodisiacal powers. Serve
it in paper-thin slices on butter fried eggs, fonduta cheese,
risottos or Albese raw meat.