This liqueur belongs to the ancient Turin culture and tradition. It is based on the famous "Gianduja” chocolate cream, i.e. a blend of cocoa and roasted hazelnuts that has been named after Gianduja, the traditional mask of the Turin carnival celebrated in the commedia dell’arte.
The original Bicerin recipe, back in 1700, mentioned coffee as one of the ingredients. However coffee and cocoa at that time were very expensive products imported from overseas. On the other hand the Piedmont region, where Turin is the capital, has always been a very important hazelnuts producer. For this reason, at the beginning of 1800, the artful Turinese chocolatiers found a way to cut the costs of their chocolates by blending cocoa and roasted hazelnuts powder, thus inventing the "giandujotto” chocolate, that is so well known and appreciated all over the world, and our present Bicerin liqueur. This recipe has remained unaltered since then
For those who are not from Turin or from Northern Italy, it is interesting to note that the word "bicerin” in our local dialects means "small glass”. In fact the habit is to serve Bicerin in a small clear rounded glass cup with an iron handle.
|The New York Times (2/6/08) acclaimed Bicerin the hit of the 2004 Turin Winter Olympic Games.
|Over 200 years ago, mixing of hazelnut with chocolate was born during Napoleon’s reign when importing cocoa became difficult. The indigenous hazelnut of the Piedmont Region was roasted and bits were incorporated to make the final product more affordable. Today Bicerin is the drink of choice to the Turinese.