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A Magical Journey to Piedmont Italy: Part I

While driving from Geneva to Barolo, the Keeper Collection Team had no idea how magical the area of Piedmont would be. The drive through the Alps was the beginning of memories that would last forever. Of course, a 5 hour drive works up an appetite, so the first thing we did was find a local place to eat that would serve as the beginning of our quest for knowledge about the cuisine of the area. Thanks to our friend, Peter Wasserman, we found ourselves in the quaint village of Cherasco. As we walked toward our chosen eatery, we were able to admire the amazing ancient masonry work of arches overhead. We ate lunch at Caffe’ Osteria Umberto Ferrero Teresio Bar.

Was this Osteria the real thing? Oh yes, the menu was announced in Italian by our server – no written menus in this local gem! Peter was excited to hear that they had the Piemontese staple Vitello Tonnato (thinly sliced cooked veal with a tuna/mayo sauce), as his goal was to find the best in the area. No better time to start us on tasting this dish than at our first dining adventure. We chose two other starters to share, Carne Crudo, which in this case was finely chopped (by hand) raw beef patty with Parmesan shavings, and another dish of sausage with dark sauce on fried polenta cake. The Keeper Team was off to a great start, as all three were very tasty. Of course, we had to select a local Piemontese wine to pair with the food. We started with a great producer in the area, Elio Altare. Caffe’ Osteria Umberto had the 2008 Elio Altare Langhe Nebbiolo, a very nice wine for under $25 US dollars! Suddenly, we realized that, in the excitement of seeing the amazing architecture, the welcome by the servers at the Osteria Umberto, and the initial food presentation, the Keeper Camera Crew had fallen down on the job and missed the pictures to share. You will have to trust us that the food both looked and tasted good. The “clean plate club” showed up again.

As the portions were large, we decided to order smaller portions and eat family style. The next dish was Fresh Tagliatelle with Ragu. Notice the very light, almost scant amount of sauce – this was perfect, as it did not overpower the fresh, very thin homemade pasta.

Pictured is: Tagliatelle with Ragu

The second dish was a fresh risotto with pomegranate. This was very unique, with a clean and fresh taste and pink color. The rice almost had its own citrus flavor.

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Risotto with Pomegranite

Our main dishes included a pork shank, braised in a mixture of finely chopped vegetables (carrots and onions mostly). The bone had been sawed lengthwise, and we each got a small spoonful of bone marrow to taste.

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Pork Shank

Another main dish was Roasted Whole Quail in a Marsala wine sauce – very simple, with no stuffing or accompaniments, but moist and flavorful.

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Roasted Quail

We had no room for dessert, but the team got the first of many espressi, which proved to be a delicious conclusion. There is really nothing like coffee/espresso/cappuccino in Italy! Our adventure into Piemontese food and wine had just begun and we were off to a super start!

Caffe’ Osteria Umberto Ferrero Teresio Bar

Via Vittorio Emanuel 82

12062

Cherasco

Ph. 0172489065

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