Girl Can Eat

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After the aperitivo, it was time for a real Piedmontese meal at one of the small restaurants from my list. A bit buzzed and already full of mini biscuits with prosciutto and salami, I typed the name into Google and marched on. Unfortunately Google pointed me to a different restaurant, even though I typed in the name Cantina Torino. But it was raining and Cantine Barbaroux looked pretty damn cozy. This Google issue happened a few more times throughout the trip.

It felt right not just because of the rain - but because Cantine Barbaroux had a 'Menu Carciofi,' a three-course artichoke dinner. First was a silky artichoke flan with local Castelmagno cheese, followed by tajarin al carciofi, thin egg noodles from the hilly area of Langhe in Cuneo with artichokes, and finally filettini de Mailaino al carciofi, thin slices of lightly fried pork loin with a luxurious artichoke and white wine sauce and fresh balsamico. There was an option to add a fried artichoke course, which I should have done.

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For dessert, I had a local specialty called bonet, a pudding-type dessert made with chocolate and amaretti cookies. This one looked like a Snickers, but it sure wasn't a Snickers. It's made like a pudding or creme caramel, and when it was first served at noble banquets in the 13th century it didn't include chocolate, only eggs, sugar, milk and amaretti cookies. It translates to "hat" because it's the last thing you eat - like a hat is the last thing you put on.

I walked home with starry eyes, singing BeyoncĂ© in the street. I felt like that meal was the best thing that had ever happened to me.

Beth Kaiserman