Eataly Raises the Bar in Foodie Cred

IMGP0188 718560
Before we left on the trip, I had heard about Eataly, one of our stops here in Torino. I was not prepared to love it as much as I did, since this place has more foodie cred than anywhere I’ve ever been. It’s a cavernous building, about the size of a Whole Foods, that opened in January 2007.

It is a hub for food and wine, all based on the philosophy promoted by the Slow Food movement, supported by the city, the province and the Piedmont region. It has anything you can imagine that has to do with good food and Italy.

We walked around in a sensory delight–the pasta section was wall to wall with pastas from all over Italy (shockingly, I couldn’t find my favorite one, Fregula, from Sardinia). But the copious pasta choices are was just the tip. Downstairs we found 150 different Barolo wines, and row upon row of just about every Italian vintage ever made. Pictured here is the bulk wine area where you choose a wine that costs between 2-5 euros per liter and fill your own bottle. The fish area had whole fish with gleaming eyes and shiny skin, and gorgeous fillets that made you drool.
IMGP0182 764988
The store is light and airy, with sections devoted the importance of seasonality of produce and rooms to educate people about wine, taste education, and how food and wine are made. There is one big room filled with seven Apple computers so that people can browse the internet for free. There are conference rooms that assocations and individuals from Torino can use to hold meetings, a huge bakery that produces bread from a wood burning oven, and dozens of huge proscuittos and other meats hanging on hooks. There is a part of the store where foods by producers protected by Slow Food can display their product and tell their stories. The cooler above is just Italian cheese, it goes on for several more cases.
IMGP0191 792637
There is a bar where people can sit and knosh and up on the bar crusty bread and olive oil is waiting. Our group ventured down past an unmarked door to a Michelin-starred restaurant called Restaurant GuidoperEataly, where dinner was stunning and the dishes showed the chef’s sense of humor and taste. This martini glass with five layers of airy, light vegetable tastes was a starter, the tastes of pumpkin, cauliflower, beet, and squash all layered atop each other.