Having just finished Lombardy, I’m itching to move to the next region of Italy, in order to have another excuse to cook Italian dishes. Not that I need an excuse, mind you. It’s just simply easier for me to justify these dishes when I trick my brain into thinking it’s “for a cause”.

The next region I’m going to post about is the Piedmont region. Piedmont pushes up against the Swiss Alps to the north, and borders France on the West. It’s also one of the five regions that have no access to the coast line.

From what I’ve been able to surmise, Piedmont cuisine falls into two basic categories: Urban and rural. The cuisine of the cities borrows heavily from Lombardy and a little from France, but when you leave the cities for the smaller burghs, you get a more “eat local” feel to the food. The cuisine had evolved into dishes that could best satisfy those who worked at the higher altitudes of the mountains. Think roasts, garlic, boiled meats, and sugar.

Much like Lombardy, the folks of Piedmont aren’t so big on pasta, but you’ll find at least some of it about (agnolotti and tagliatelle). When it comes to starches, they also migrate to the rice that comes from the Po Valley. Also big in the region? White truffles, specific cheeses and breadsticks (called batonnets …oh, and frogs also make it on the menu.

For drink? Vermouth is huge in Piedmont, being the home of Martini e Rossi, Cinzano and a host of other companies.

So, for the recor, I’ve moved on the Piedmont. Expect at least 4 recipes and a drink or two from the region, and hopefully a cheese as well.

UPDATE: Ahh, this is why I love the internet. Gia, who unlike me, actually lives in Italy, corrects a couple of my mistakes. She writes..

Our breadsticks are called grisini in Italian and this area is famous for beef and veal. It’s a land locked region but close to Liguria so the seafood is okay. Don’t forget the famous Langhe, home to truffles, nuts, famous Barolo wine, Barbaresco wine and one of my faves Moscato D’Asti.

In my own defense about the Breadsticks, the name batonnets is used, but by Napolean. I have no idea if this is the term used in France.

Thanks Gia!