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Feb 6, 2012 10:48 AM

History of bagna cauda

Bagna cauda. Traditionally, anchovies, olive oil, and garlic. Not something you'd serve on date night. Personally, I love the stuff, but I've always been perplexed by the history of the dish.

It's Piedmontese in origin. One of the hallmarks of Italian cooking is the use of local ingredients. Indeed, I think that would be the case for most of the world's cooking. But the thing is, neither anchovies, garlic, or olive oil are traditional Piedmontese ingredients. It's a landlocked region that's more of a dairy region.

Can someone explain to me (or point me in the right direction), How does a landlocked region in northern Italy come to put together a dish made of ingredients that are more likely to be found hundreds of miles away. It makes no sense.

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      1. re: ttoommyy

        Thanks for the link. Fascinating stuff.

        And yes, I should have been able to find that through the Google box on my own (FH says with a sheepish look on his face...).

      2. Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market now carries jars of it made in California!!

        1. I learned to make it with butter as well as olive oil, and my sister-in-law's husband, who grew
          up in Piedmont, has said that's the way his family made it.