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Bill Klapp

Fun Fast Food in Torino

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While I am guessing that very few are going to travel to the Piemonte to eat fast food, there is a regional burger mini-chain trying to stick it in Mickey D's eye, called M** Bun (I wonder how many Italians can fill in the asterisks with "ac"!). It takes almost no effort to eclipse the quality of McDonald's, but these guys are trying to be healthy about it, too. In a couple of their burgers, they compensate for the low fat content with 30% pork added to 70% Piemontese fassone beef. Burgers are oven-cooked medium-rare, rather than fried, and put on an artisanal ciabatta roll instead of a typical bun. The cheeseburger employs the local triple creme-style cheese known as tuma. The ubiquitous golden potatoes in Italy are fabulous for mashed and boiled potatoes but not so great for fries, so these folks wisely opted for homemade chips. You can also get a tasty free-range chicken burger and even the famous local veal tartare known as carne cruda. They even sell a new product, Torino's own run at Coke, Molecola. And all of the menu items are named in Piemontese dialect!


But even if you don't get a burger craving while here, EVERYBODY wants a gelato or two a day, and Torino is making its case, with Roma and Palermo, as Italy's leading gelato city. It is home to Grom, which has gone international, and a number of other high-end artisanal places, but my new favorite is Riva Reno, which delivers the ultralight style of gelato where the product is little more than a carrier of flavor.


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