Wrapped in thin silver, gold, or colored aluminum foil, the lump-shaped candy has been made by local chocolate makers for centuries. His birthplace is the capital of the region, Turin, which has been called the chocolate capital of Italy ever since chocolate masters began making their sweet craftsmanship here for the Savoy House, a royal dynasty founded in the Savoy region of Italy, in the 1500s.
Symbol of Turin
The name gianduiotto is thought to come from the carnival figure, Gianduya, a cheerful, wine-loving peasant who was popular in the 1800s and who embodied the epicurean nature of the locals.
It became famous when the general public was able to taste it for the first time at the 1865 Turin Carnival, where an actor dressed as Gianduja handed over the delicacy. Guido Castagna, a renowned artisanal chocolate maker, says gianduiotto is much more than iconic chocolate. It is a symbol of Turin and an important part of the city’s identity.
Poor gianduiotto was born as a second-class substitute for cocoa
Said Castagna To CNN.
It was of modest origin, but then became the highest quality elite, deficient product, packed in foil for the first time in the history of chocolate.
Napoleon banned the cocoa beans
Gianduiotto was originally born out of compulsion – to overcome the cocoa shortage in continental Europe. When Napoleon Bonaparte conquered northern Italy in 1806 and declared war on Britain, he banned all English imports, including cocoa beans.
As a result, the confectioners in Turin decided to switch to something a little closer to their home – the hazelnuts that grew abundantly in the surrounding lush hills. After mixing with sugar and the little cocoa that was still on their shelves, they were able to make a rich mass that was eventually refined and polished to gianduiotto.
The ancestor of Nutella
About a century later, Pietro Ferrero, a Piedmontese confectioner, created Nutella based on this old recipe. In the 1800s, hazelnuts were very affordable, but things are quite different today. Not only is it much more expensive, but the ‘tonda gentile’ peanut produced has a protected geographical indication, a European designation aimed at protecting regional foods.
This is Piedmont gold, absolutely the best in the world
Said Guido Castagna. He added
the price of hazelnuts per kilogram is EUR 16,
compared to € 10 per kilogram for high quality cocoa. The peanuts, rich in aromatic oil, blend perfectly with the taste of cocoa butter and highlight it, forming a tender, sensual and creamy decoction. According to Castagna, this type of chocolate fits perfectly among the chocolate varieties.
Gianduiotto is now a special type of chocolate in addition to dark chocolate, white and milk chocolate.