On a rainy, fall day all I can think of is trying to find something to bring me a little comfort. And what better than the specialty of Turin, a bicerin, (bee-che-reen). To have an authentic bicerin, one must go to Caffé al Bicerin in the historic district of Turin. It is after all, the very caffé where this warm, rich and bittersweet beverage was first made some 200 plus years ago.
As soon as you walk inside, you feel as if you have stepped back into time. The caffé is set in a cozy atmosphere of wood paneling, small wrought-iron and marble-topped tables and a lovely lit candle at each setting.
The “bavareisa” was the predecessor of the bicerin. It was a drink which contained coffee, chocolate, milk and syrup and was served in a large glass. There were of course variations…coffee with chocolate or coffee with milk and then one that was a mixture of everything or ‘un pù ‘d tut’ as it was referred to in Piemontese. The recipe includes freshly brewed espresso, melted chocolate and fresh cream. It is a rich hot beverage that is perfectly balanced for my taste buds; for it’s not too sweet.
When I entered the caffé not only was I taken back into time, but there was a camera crew from Japan shooting some sort of promotional spot. Apparently they were shooting some footage of all the guests and they kept telling me to “act natural” in Italian.
On my way out, one of the customers kindly wished me well regarding my film career. Anything is possible these days…and I intend to keep my options open.