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 regional dialect of Piedmont. 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.
And so as I fondly think back on the years I lived in Italy, I know I will always remember the chocolatey-decadence of the soul of Turin. Alla prossima, bicerin! Until the next time!