It was with great surprise and anticipation when I heard this summer that we were going to be getting an Eataly in little ole Pinerolo. As we watched the progress of the transformation of an old farmhouse that had already been transformed a time or two, emerge with Eataly's signature trademark outside, I knew we were really and truly going to be blessed with this "Slow Food" store. For those of you unfamiliar with Eataly, it is a store which originated in Torino and showcases the vast array of "Slow Food" products and other high quality products made in Italy, with a heavy sampling from here in Piedmont because Bra, Italy, is the birthplace of Slow Food and it needs the massive old factory that has everything beautifully laid out with eating kiosks throughout the store to encourage you to sample whats on offer. The stores are starting to spread with one now in Milano, Bologna, and even Tokyo, so we are very happy to be in such good company. For those of you visiting our area, it is a must do on your list of things to do and most of all experience.
The store is gorgeous and well laid out to entice and delight. There are so many different nooks and crannies. They have a well stocked wine cellar, beer emporium, fresh and unusual veggies, and a gelato kiosk at the front so it can be your first and last stop of your visit. There are facilities for meeting rooms or intimate tastings and an expansive patio with a sall pond for eating al fresco when the weather agrees. Eating is encouraged there and at home, so you really can experience the many facets of Italian foods made with the utmost care. We have been a few times and it seems to have already established itself as favorite stop for having a bite to eat whether you're shopping or not. Although I do recommend the shopping and this time of year, it's a marvelous place to discover all sorts of unique treats in addition to the best rice, pasta and loaves of hearty bread browned to perfection in their wood fired oven. Yes, I know that you won't be able to walk out without a few purchases, if you're anything like me. We couldn't resist trying one of their hand tossed pizzas the last time we stopped in.
In true Fabrizio fashion, he knew their pizzaiolo maestro, with whom he had worked with many years before in the valley. Davide, whose recommendation was to sample their simplest variety so we could truly taste the pizza dough and judge for ourselves if it was good or not, was spot on.
Classic Margherita, named in honor of our Savoy Queen Margherita, in 1889, is a light tomato sauce, fresh basil and regular and buffalo mozzarella pizza, that just happens to be Fabrizio's favorite. We had no problem submitting to his suggestion, and I must say, the dough was divine. It had just a hint of tang and their wood fired oven imparts it's own flavor whilst producing that wonderful blend of a slightly crisp crust with just the right amount of chewiness. Topped with a light hand for sauce and cheese with fresh basil, which elevates pizza to a food group all it's own. Savoring it with an equally tasty micro brewed beer reinforced my love of simplicity with emphasis on quality, which Italian food relies on time and again.
It's reassuring to know too that if I'm stumped for a gift be it Christmas or any other time, that I can peruse the shelves of Eataly and not go empty handed. Everyone loves to eat.
You will find plenty of foods that are a good value and great for every day eating in addition to ones on the "treat" list and in this day of watching our wallets empty out faster than filling up, it's good to know you can trust the quality offered here and find some great bargains in addition to a few things "just for fun" too.
and in the words of this poster on your way out of the store.
"Life is too brief, to eat and drink badly"