Gianduia: the typical Piedmont chocolate

One of the most delicious recipes of the Piedmontese tradition

Traditional Italian cuisine is characterized by products that are particularly linked to the history and culture of the city from which they come. One of the best known in Italy and abroad is Gianduia cream born in Piedmont. Italian Traditions will lead you to the discovery of this sweet made with hazelnuts and chocolate. Here we will also talk about the traditional mask of this region that was inspired by and took the name of this typical product. We will also explain which ingredients to use and how to proceed to prepare it.

Its origin

The beginning of the use of hazelnuts, in particular those coming from the Langhe, is due to the commercial block imposed by Great Britain in the early 1800s against the continent controlled by Napoleon. This resulted in an almost total absence of cocoa and the little that could be found had very high prices. The Piedmont confectioners decided to use the regional hazelnuts to mix with the cocoa in order to keep the quality of the product high. The launch on the market took place in 1865 during the Carnival celebrations. The success was immediate for the “gianduiotto” which was the first individually wrapped chocolate.

The relationship between chocolate and the city of Turin dates back to just after the discovery of America. This product arrived in the Piedmontese capital when Emanuele Filiberto Duke of Savoy moved the capital of his state there. In just under a century, Turin became one of the most important chocolate production centers in Europe. Pastry chefs from all over the world came here to learn the chocolatier art.


The traditional Piedmontese carnival mask

The name of Gianduia derives from the traditional Piedmontese carnival mask that bears the same name. The same character who distributes the “gianduiotti” on Carnival days. And the figure that, within the tradition of carnival and comedy of art is placed alongside masks from other regions such as:

  • Balanzone,
  • Pantalone
  • Pulcinella
  • Harlequin.


The recipe

The gianduia or simply gianduia is available for sale in the form of cream or chocolates. There are many companies that produce this traditional product today. Furthermore, an interesting aspect is the possibility of being able to prepare it at home. The basic recipe uses the following ingredients:

  • 40 grams of sugar
  • 20 grams of cocoa
  • 50 g of hazelnut
  • 70 ml of milk.

How to prepare it

The preparation is rather simple but requires a lot of attention in following the necessary steps. The first thing to do is to blend the hazelnuts to make them into a homogeneous paste. At this point you must combine this preparation with the other ingredients required. Then proceed with milk, sugar, cocoa. Now you must mix it, being careful not to create lumps. Finally pour the mixture into a glass jar and keep it in the refrigerator.

The traditional recipes of Italian culinary culture have origins that are linked to the products available in the territory of origin. If you want to learn about other regional recipes we suggest you read this article too. Now that you know how to prepare gianduia there is nothing left to do but get to work, or alternatively go to a shop to taste this exceptional Piedmontese product.

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