Today was a really great day. Instead of a regular school day we went on a foodies perfect field trip and at nearly midnight, just got home.
Early this morning we all piled onto the bus at 7am to start our trip to Piemonte. Our first stop was a chocolate factory. I literally had some of the most delicious chocolate for breakfast, since our tour of the facility began with a tasting of some of their best products. After a short tour we got back on the bus for a 1hour drive to a winery in Barolo. It was the first time any of us had seen the sun since we arrived in Italy. Colorno has been under a constant frigid fog since day one and we were all put in good moods when we ascended high enough to escape the cloud cover. We tasted four wines, three red and one Moscato. The Moscato was fantastic, crisp, light, sweet, and tasted like fresh peaches and apricots. A perfect dessert wine. Needless to say I bought a bottle, a pretty good deal at ten euros.
After the wine tasting we were all feeling the pleasant warmth of an empty stomach laced with wine and passed out on the bus as we again made our way for an hour through the Piemonte countryside to our next location. The sun was so strong that the warmth on my face put me immediately into a pleasant slumber. After my lovely nap I was awoken to find that we had arrived at the restaurant for lunch. This quaint little spot was gorgeous and we had the whole place to our selves. All the tables had been pushed together and covered with a fine white tablecloth to make a long banquet where we all sat for what turned into a five course meal of epic proportions. The food was delicious, complete with regional specialties like veal carpaccio, bagna couda, and mucca brasata. Wine was once again flowing and it didn't take long for our rowdy bunch to be roaring with chatter and laughter.
Lunch, in good Italian fashion, lasted well over an hour and we all welcomed the coming hour bus ride to our next location...we needed serious nap time after we stuffed ourselves. The final stop was the food emporium known as Eataly. Now when I say food emporium, don't think whole foods, don't think a supermarket. Think every food desire under one roof and done locally, organically, relatively cheaply, and on a grand scale. They had a butcher and a fish market complete with such hard to find ingredients as whole suckling pig, and swordfish head. They had an entire downstairs area devoted entirely to wine and beer, including a station where you could buy an empty glass bottle and get it filled right out of the wine cask for two euro a liter. They had chef tools, books, and guides. They had bars that offered a full menu of delicious snacks made from their fresh produce. They had a selection of cheeses and salumi that would blow your mind! I could've walked out of there with a whole leg of prosciutto san danielle if i wanted!
Oh yea, and they also had regular grocery store items like produce, nuts, dried pasta and sauces, and a truffle counter. Yes, a truffle counted, where one could buy MULTIPLE black truffles of various varieties.
To say the least, this place was food mecca and all should flock accordingly.
Our day was capped by a three hour bus ride home during which we all slept like kids tuckered out from a day at an amusement park. For me, I don't see much difference. But tomorrow is another day and 8am is going to get here all too soon.