Bicerin and Caffe Shakerato at Baratti and Milano

And some information about the fabled ChocoPass!

When I went to Turin last time, I stopped with my father at the famous Baratti & Milano cafe’, right near the Piazza del Castello. I had eaten their chocolate before so I was familiar with them, but hadn’t been inside the cafe’ before. The cafe’ itself is very beautiful and has old-world charm which is a realtor’s way to say, “has original furnishings” since it has been on that spot for over 100 years. That day we preferred to stand at the bar and drink our treats instead of sitting down at the many tables inside. The atmosphere was peaceful and slightly hushed in the cafe’ since there wasn’t a lot of traffic in the adjoining chocolate store, and you couldn’t hear any of the foot traffic outside.

In 1999, Baratti & Milano became part of a larger company, Elah Dufour, (which also owns Novi chocolate). Finding information about the parent company, Elah-Dufour wasn’t easy or very successful. Their website has a horrific “Under Construction” animated gif circa 1997, and the only sign of modernity is a javascript clock in the upper right-hand corner that mockingly reminds you of today’s date. When you compare it to a site like Ferrero‘s, you have to wonder. Better website = better revenue? Most certainly more market awareness.

So back to the Bicerin. My friends in Turin always mention the Bicerin when talking about Torinese specialties, and though it was nearing hot weather time, I thought it would be one of the last times we could try the Bicerin without sweating.

According to the Cioccolato’ website, the Bicerin is:

…the Bicerin is a spin off of the Bavareisa, a drink already known in the 17th century. While in the latter the milk, coffee, and chocolate are mixed and sweetened with syrup, in the Bicerin the three ingredients remain very hot and in three separate layers.

Layers of espresso, thick hot chocolate and foamy milk. Like a huge, more chocolaty version of my beloved marocchino. Yum! And it didn’t disappoint, though I recommend it during colder times.

Bicerin at Baratti & Milano (in Torino)

While the Bicerin may be Torino’s pride and joy of coffee drinks, the Caffe’ Shakerato is more of a national treasure and can be found throughout Italy in bars everywhere. It’s made by shaking espresso with sugar (or sugar syrup) and ice – some add milk here as well, and it ends up with a wonderful creamy froth. It’s my favorite summer drink – and I especially like a caffe’ shakerato with Bailey’s. Che goduria!!

Caffe' Shakerato at Baratti & Milano (in Torino)

I missed the CioccolaTo’ festival (“the big Chocolate festival”) in its entirety because I was back in California during those accursed weeks. Next time I plan to be here!

The next time you’re in Turin (and not during the summer) be sure and check out the (fairly new) ChocoPass…why didn’t I think of this? Buy one for 24 or 48 hours and make your way around the city’s more interesting bars and cafe’s for chocolate tastings and samples. Some info about the Chocopass and a PDF of the locations participating and what you get.

If you’re heading there this weekend, check out the Slow Food Piemonte “Medieval” event on June 17th “il Borgo Medievale” (in Italian)

Cioccolato’ Festival
ChocoPass Info

Baratti & Milano
Piazza Castello 27 – Turin

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  1. says

    Coincidentally, I recently was in Torino with my family and posted a photo of Baratti & Milano cafe front on my last blog entry. If you get a chance to check out historic cafe Al Bicerin over in the Piazza d. Repubblica, I believe that is where the Bicerin was born. It’s bit off the main drag, but the Chiesa La Consolata has an amazing display of colorful marble. If you find yourself wanting to come on over to the mountains, you’d be most welcome here at Bella Baita.

    Edited by Sara to fix blog URL 16.10

  2. Ms. Adventures in Italy says

    @Jul – I know, it always feels wrong saying it.
    @Pasticciera – thanks for the invite!! I had heard of the cafè – it’s run by all women or something, right? Next time :)

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