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Slow Masters - Artisan Chocolatier - Silvio Bessone

Joe N

While deliberating what to see on the way from Mondovi to Dogliani, we searched lists of various artisans in the area, and were happy to discover this craftsman right next door to the Vicoforte Sanctuary, a site we were planning to see in any case. Actually, I was surprised that being located in such a popular touristic destination, his chocolate laboratory and shop was not publicized more clearly - as this is a must stop for chocolate lovers (who isn't one?), and for anyone interested in food artisanry.

The place is managed by Silvio and his wife Mery, both very kind and passionate about their work. One of their young daughters opened the door for us, and the sound of another child playing music in the back room also greeted us. Mery speaks English quite well, and we were soon on a delightful tasting spree in the small store.

The range of products is quite amazing - from Gianduiotti (a chocolate-hazelnut treat shaped like a prism or hull of an upside down boat) and pralines to Cuneesi Rum (rum infused truffle), chocolate "salami" and chocolate beer, including pastries like festive pannetone cakes, biscuits and more. There are tablets of distinct chocolate varieties, as well as special blends, that are sourced from cacao plantations throughout the world. The couple have traveled to distant places in search of small producers of unique varieties of cacao, buying directly and ensuring fair returns for the growers. When additional ingredients are added to the products, such as vanilla, sugar, or fruits, these are of the highest quality.

The store also serves as a small cafe, so this is a great place for an interesting and tasty stop, and even to buy some unique souvenirs.

Silvio Bessone

Via F.Gallo,19
12080 Santuario di Vicoforte
Tel. 0174 563312
Fax 0174 565821
Email: info@silviobessone.it
silviobessone.it

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Joe N has been a Slow Travel forum member sine July 2007.

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