Today was a great day!! We had the best producer visits so far and although my tummy wasn’t feeling so hot (not very fun when you have to spend six hours in a van driving at 130 kilometers per hour down really uneven roads!!) the amazing products made it worthwhile.
We started off the day at Barbero, an old school Torrone factory, located in the heart of Asti. They have been in production since 1883 and are known for making traditional Torrone. We arrived just in time to see them cooking the Torrone and toasting the local hazelnuts. We even got to try the finished product still warm right out of the mixer!!!
Our second stop took us to Cascina Barola, a rice company in the Novaran countryside. We started by sitting down for a tasting lunch at their restaurant where we sampled several of their different rices.
The company makes two lines of rice, just the plain rice by itself and seasoned risotto blends such as porcini, lemon, pea, leek, radicchio and many many others. The plain rice comes in beautiful colors; pink, black, red, white and each variety has it’s own unique flavor and texture. The pre-seasoned risottos are also delicious and much easier to prepare (just add chicken stock).
After way too many courses of rice, wine, expresso and grappa we headed out into the rice patties to see where the rice is grown. They happened to be harvesting the fields when we arrived which was amazing to see.
Our last stop of the day was at Panificio Bo, one of the only breadstick factories that still pulls the breadsticks by hand. You can check out the picture below to see the awesome outfits we had to wear in! We also had a tasting dinner with them in the evening and sampled more delicious food alongside of their breadsticks and focaccia.
Tonight is our last night in Alba and tomorrow we head to Modena, stopping along the way for beer (Yeah!!!) and porcini mushrooms (double yeah!!).
The "Palmer's on the Road" blog is published by Megan Palmer Rivera, executive chef at .