Tips & Techniques World Cuisines Cuisine of Piedmont
Cuisine of Piedmont
Nestled at the foot of a vast alpine mountain range, Piedmont is one of the most important culinary destinations in Italy and the birthplace of the international Slow Food movement. The highland meadows are dotted with abundant pastures, ideal for cattle grazing and home to a thriving dairy industry. (Not surprisingly, the cuisine of Piedmont is rich with butter, cream and cheese.) As the foothills flatten out, they lead to the Po River Valley, an agricultural area that produces some of the best-known Italian wines: Barbera, Barolo and Barbaresco, as well as the varietals Asti, Dolcetto and Nebbiolo.

Wheat, rice and corn thrive in these alluvial plains, and the valley is home to the tiny town of Arborio, the namesake for the rice that is an essential ingredient in risotto. In the fall, the elusive white truffles of Alba trickle into the market, and cooks add this luxurious ingredient to risotto, polenta and pasta. Hearty meat dishes are popular in Piedmont, and the big, powerful red wines of the region are an ideal match. Here we offer a taste of Piedmont, with recipes like short ribs braised in Barolo, white truffle butter risotto and a traditional filled pasta known as agnolotti.