Our Espresso in Torino and Piemonte series turns back to Torino for an espresso at Eataly — which has taken over the former Carpano vermouth factory across the street of Torino’s massive Lingotto complex. Torino is also the birthplace of vermouth and consequently the apéritif. (I am also quite a longtime fan of Carpano Antica.)
Formed by Piero Alciati (of Guido Ristorante Pollenzo, reviewed earlier this week) and various other food illuminaries in the region, Eataly is akin to SF’s Ferry Building Marketplace on crack and steroids. Inside Eataly is also the Guido per Eataly restaurant.
To start, Eataly is massive — at about 120,000 square feet of food, restaurant, and food education space. There are sections dedicated to food from the oven (il forno: pizza & foccacia, etc.), fish, vegetables, meats, pasta, cheese & salumi, gelato, wine, beer, etc. In addition to selling these artisanal food items, each section also has its own in-store “restaurant” featuring these foods. A second Eataly complex has just opened in Milan, with a smaller cousin soon to open in New York City.
Below is a YouTube video I found that hints at just some of the size and breadth of what you can find at Eataly. London’s Harrods no longer seemed so big anymore. (Yes, that space in the beginning of the video is just the vegetable market.):
As with much of Piemonte, Slow Food is king here. And, as is the Italian way, any respectable public gathering space must have a good café nearby to gather at and partake in your recommended daily allowance of espresso. At Eataly, that café is called Caffè Carpano — named for the original vermouth factory on the premises.
Caffè Carpano is located at the lower level, further towards the back. You enter past the roasting equipment and shelves of roasted coffee.
The café features three dual-group Gaggia machines and a lot of Italians needing their espresso fix. They sell beans under the Hue Hue Café name, from Pausa Café, and their primary blend consists of 40% Guatemalan San Pedro Necta cru, 30% arabica, and 30% robusta. (Hue Hue, pronounced “way-way”, is short for Huehuetenango — a region, or department, of northwest Guatemala.) Other options, however, are possible (as shown in the coffee menu photo below).
With their standard Hue Hue Café blend, they produce shots with a medium brown crema with textured speckling and a great, potent aroma. It has a pungent, herbal flavor. Naturally best served as a ristretto, and a mere €0.85.
Read the review of Caffè Carpano.
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