Guido Gobino manufactures a range of giandujotti, from 21%
cocoa solids up to 23.5%. The chocolates are creamy miniatures that must be individually unwrapped. If Guido Gobino manufactured lesser quality chocolate, their giandujotti would be just marginally better than any multinational's overly sweet hazelnut confectionary. Guido Gobino definitely delivers and, with their protected geographical indicated hazelnuts added, at a very high price.
price/gram: USD 0.124
Cocoa %: 21
Over this Christmas season, I
have been given a chance to try an Italian specialty not
once, but twice, both thanks to the generosity of my wife.
It is more common these days,
with the paunch of the European Union jiggling around its
power, to see agricultural products and foodstuffs protected
by some kind of geographic indicator. Champagne is one such
example. Only sparkling wines made from grapes grown
in the Champagne region of France that endure a secondary
fermentation in the bottle can carry this name. We may use
the term loosely to refer to sparkling wines in general, but strict oenophiles use the term to
refer to real Champagne-made sparkling wines. A number
of cheeses use geographic indictors: Gorgonzola, Parmagiano-Reggiano, Asiago, Camembert,
to name a few.
I didn't know, until my wife
made me aware of it, that Italy has its own protected
geographic region manufacturing hazelnuts. In an area south of
Turin in the Langhe hills, a special hazelnut grows known
as the Piedmont. The Piedmont is valued for
its unique round shape, mild flavor, and high oil content.
Over the centuries, this area of Italy has become famous for
And, starting around 1800,
gianduja chocolate. When Napoleon was in command of
France and the British blockaded the Mediterranean, Italy
fell short of cacao beans to produce chocolate. A
Turin chocolatier, Michele Prochet, mixed the Piedmont hazelnuts, then not protected with special status
because there was not yet an overweight and overpaid European bureaucracy to
offer such protection, with his limited supplies of chocolate.
Fifty years later, a local Turin chocolate manufacturer
coined the term giandujotto after a carnival and marionette
character from the region. Hazelnut paste chocolate became a
signature food from the hills around Turin.
To address the obvious
question: would the chocolates taste a whole lot different
if, say, the hazelnuts came from Turkey, Cyprus, or Greece?
Let's be honest. The hazelnuts are not added to the
chocolate as an intact filling, like you might see in a
Lindt hazelnut bar.
In that case, a milder and more oily nut, if Piedmont
hazelnuts are really that different, might produce a very
different tasting chocolate bar. Converted into a paste that
already contains a lot of sugar? I'm not buying it.
But Europe's a place which prides itself on its traditions,
and if people are willing to pay more to have an 'authentic'
article manufactured in the region, you've got a bloated
European Union bureaucracy in place to convince you you're
on to something special.
Guido Gobino manufactures a
range of giandujotti, from 21% cocoa solids up to
23.5%. The chocolates are creamy wrapped miniatures that
must be individually unwrapped. Good thing, too, for
if the giandujotti came in one large bar, you'd be able to
gobble it down that much faster.
I first became acquainted
with Guido Gobino's chocolates when I sampled their
in August and gave it high marks. This is expensive stuff,
but a nice treat now and then, and you know you've got a
winner for a spouse when she brings you home a bar to sample
on your chocolate web site. You're absolutely sure
your spouse is a keeper when she comes home a few months
later and gifts you a box of giandujotti for Father's Day.
If Guido Gobino manufactured
lesser quality chocolate, their giandujotti would be just
marginally better than any multinational's overly sweet
hazelnut confectionary. Guido Gobino definitely delivers and, with their protected geographical indicated hazelnuts
added, at a very high price. C
dipping your tongue in for a special occasion.