Friday, April 23, 2010

Eataly in Turin

A couple weekends ago, we decided to make a day trip to Turino, just a 1.5 hour drive from Milan.  I had never been plus I had gotten us tickets to view the mysterious Shroud of Turin.  That deserves a post on its own.  We decided to make a day of it and started early.  Well, early for us on a Saturday anyway.

Our first stop, Eataly, a clever play on the words eat and italy, is a marketplace featuring local artisanal food and wine products from all over Italy.  Something food related?  We definitely wanted to check it out.  It took us a while to get through the city to arrive in an area called Lingotto.  When we walked in our mouths just fell open. 

There were rows and rows of pasta, rice, flour, oils, jars of every variation of tomato sauce you can imagine, and colorful displays of fruits and vegetables.  There was an in-house bakery churning out delicious smelling fresh bread.  The pastry counter had a beautiful selection of cakes and desserts.  The cheese selection was huge, there was a big case just for local cheese from Piemonte.  The selection of meat and fish was just as impressive.

And tucked in between the aisles and food counters, were small restaurants specializing in pasta, meat, vegetables, fish, etc. I glanced at the menus and the prices were reasonable.  You could make a little food tour going from station to station.  It was still early for lunch when we were there but I've heard it gets crowded with locals and tourists alike at lunch and dinner.

Downstairs, we found some climate-controlled cellars showing how cheese and cured meats are traditionally stored.  The smell in the Parmesan Reggiano room was delicious.

In the wine section, in addition to the huge selection of wines, you can also purchase wine by the 2 litre bottles straight from the barrel.

And if you're a lover of beer, you have this whole wall of different beers to choose from.

And of course, a place to sit and have a meal paired with beer.  There's also a similar restaurant in the wine section.

We grabbed a basket and picked up some food stuff that didn't need refrigeration since we had a whole day ahead of us.  We also had fun picking out some items to make up a gourmet food basket for a friend's birthday gift.  My stomach was growling but unfortunately we couldn't stop to eat.  We had reservations for lunch at another place. 

But we will for sure be back with more time for the whole experience.  We had discovered a culinary food lovers dream.  If you're in the area or passing by, it is worth a stop.  It is the only place we've seen in Italy where you can find such a variety of gourmet food products, and they are surprisingly reasonably priced.  They also hold special dinners, cooking lessons and tasting events.  

Via Nizza, 230 / 14
Turin Lingotto


YL said...

This looks "american"! It reminds me of the newest Whole Foods stores on steroids. Grocery shopping as an immersive experience. I might ask for some of the original pictures to use this as an example of innovation!

Oh did a quick google search and apparently they have a store in Tokyo and Mario Batali's group is working on the store in Manhattan, to be opened later this year -- and expected to be twice the size of the one in Turin!

lsheryl said...

I know... it reminded me of Whole Foods and I think that's why I was not as excited. But for sure the products they carry are top notch, so I can't complain.

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