Garlic and anchovies in a typical Piedmontese dish: bagna cauda

Bagna cauda is a typical Piedmontese dish and an extraordinary experience. To fully enjoy it you should love garlic, the main ingredient. Get together with friends and enjoy this traditional recipe!

So, how was bagna cauda created?

According to a legend dating back to the Middle Ages, the local wine producers wanted to create a special dish to celebrate the bottling of new wine, an event that marked a successful harvest every year. According to others, bagna cauda was created as a simple and rustic festive dish, in contrast to the refined cuisine of rich people. A dish born from the best rural tradition which brings together local fresh products such as vegetables, garlic and anchovies, which arrived in barrels preserved in salt from Liguria. Did you know that in ancient times anchovies were a creative way of smuggling salt, a rare and expensive commodity?

How to prepare

The Piedmontese bagna cauda was born as something to prepare and eat with many people; a great opportunity to celebrate the end of the harvest season as a community. Usually it is prepared in a large copper pot, from which everyone can dip into with fresh bread and vegetables. The fun starts when you choose the vegetables to go with the garlic and anchovies sauce: carrots, cauliflower, fennel, potatoes, beetroot…the list is endless!



Then wash the vegetables, boil those which need cooking (such as potatoes) and cut into small pieces. A tip: bagna cauda must be eaten with your hands. Finally, add some olive oil, an exotic condiment for Piedmont, an area which has never had a large production; most olive oil in Piedmont is imported from nearby Liguria. The basic recipe can be modified according to local traditions; e.g. add cream, butter or nuts.
Now set the table; in Piedmont they use fujot a sort of bowl made of two parts. In the lower part a candle is inserted to keep the sauce warm, on the upper section there is a bowl for bagna cauda.
It’s not a problem if you do not have the traditional fujot as you can heat the sauce in a pan and serve it in small copper or terracotta cups. Bagna cauda can also be enjoyed with a few Oliveri crackers and some Altalanga hazelnuts, along with a glass of Diva Gold beer.
Among the vineyards of Valle Talloria, it’s easy to find trattorias where you can taste real bagna cauda, but with our Piedmont aperitif food box, all you need to do is set the table, gather family and friends and enjoy it as if you were there.