Baratti & Milano - Italian Master Chocolate Makers since 1858
ITALIAN MASTER CHOCOLATE MAKERS SINCE 1858
Baratti & Milano, with its historical café located in the heart of old Turin, has already celebrated its 160th anniversary. Like few other companies, it has not only remained in business all this time but has often been in the forefront of Turin’s history, inspiring fashions and customs in the «sweet» world.
Founders Ferdinando Baratti and Edoardo Milano decided to open a confectionery-liqueur shop in Via Doragrossa, Turin in 1858. They were two enterprising young men who left the province of Ivrea in search of fortune in Turin. To learn new recipes and purchase modern machineries, Edoardo Milano even spent some time in Paris after becoming engaged to a well-to-do young lady with a substantial dowry who supported him in his work. Together, Ferdinando Baratti and Edoardo Milano made their name rather quickly and soon transferred their business into large and more luxurious premises in the city centre. In 1875, they rented a large hall in the recently inaugurated «Galleria dell’Industria Subalpina» and gave life to the first core of their confectionery business: select an elegant premises with a large tea room illuminated by forty-four gas lamps reflected in enormous mirrors. On occasion of the inauguration (4 february 1875), the localnewspaper wrote «the new Galleria dell’Industria Subalpina is home at great expense to marvellous new premises which – for sheer size, richness, decoration and elegance, as well as the exquisitiness of its immense variety of articles – rivals and indeed exceeds all of the many other such premises in fine Turin». Among the public places flourishing in this corner of old Turin, the new confectionery house stood out as one of the most stately.
The house of Savoy authorized it to use the Savoy coat of arms as «Purveyor to the Royal House», as well as the coats of arms of King Vittorio Emanuele II and Prince Amedeo d’Aosta. Baratti & Milano becamea meeting place for a refined clientele, including figures in politics, science and performing arts. It soon became a high spot for everyone enjoying «the stroll» under the arcades. Old and young gentlemen sat sipping vermouth and «chincona» wine, ladies stopped to enjoy an uncomparable hot chocolate or «bicerin» (a small glass of espresso coffee, hot chocolate and milk in separate layers), bignole (cakes), delicious pralines or scented bonbons. Guido Gozzano often sat at the coffee tables here, «gazing at the fairer sex….in love with all the ladies eating pastries in the confectionery bars». Gozzano, inspired by the young ladies «becoming girls again» over a tray of pastries, in July 1907 at the Baratti & Milano confectionery bar wrotethe verses of one of his famous poems «Le Golose».
In 1910, the partners decided to expand the premises with a view to the Great International Exposition which was set to attract a huge number of visitors to Turin. They entrusted the expansion and decoration project for their confectionery bar Giulio Casanova, an architect from Bologna (and professor of Decoration at the Accademia Albertina in Turin 1920-1940) and to sculptor Edoardo Rubino. The confectionery expanded under the portico of Piazza Castello with the buffet bar and the tea room. The new premises also moved its focus of the premises from Galleria Subalpina to Piazza Castello, the new centre of the city.
The inauguration took place three months before the opening of the Great International Exposition in 1911, the international showcase where Turin proudly exhibited its most recent successes.
The confectionery bar in Piazza Castello was restored in 2003 and returned to the people of Turin exactly as it had been a century earlier, at the start of the twentieth century.
Today Baratti & Milano is a well established premium company with two factories: one in Bra (near Cuneo, Piedmont), dedicated to chocolate and candies, and the other in Sassello (Liguria), specialized in Ligurian pastry bakery products, like Amaretti and Canestrelli biscuits.
The reputation of the Baratti & Milano brand has grown even further, thanks to the quality of its products including pralines, bars, chocolate spread, candies and fruit gelées: delightful treasures with unmistakable tastes which still today retain all the wisdom and experience of the Italian confectionery tradition.
OUR SUPPLY CHAIN (FROM «BEAN TO BAR»)
Baratti & Milano, like few other companies in the sector, itself selects cocoain its equatorial countries of origins in Central America (Ecuador). The company’s technicians personally follow up all stages and select only the best products. Cultivation, harvesting of ripe fruits (the pods containing cocoa beans), fermentation of the fruit and drying of the beans: these operations are carried out in the area of origin and are important steps to obtain high quality ingredients. The dried cocoa beans then arrive at the factory in Italy where toasting, refining and, lastly, conching of chocolate are performed - the latter is an important process as regards softness and round, velvety taste, as well as the texture and shine of chocolate.
Baratti & Milano chocolate is processed for many hours in special basins at a controlled temperature. This lengthy operation eliminates all traces of acidity and humidity at the same time exalting the fragrances contained in chocolate. The quality of Baratti & Milano chocolate is assured not only by the finest cocoa used by the company but also by other important and very exclusive ingredients.
One of these is milk from Normandy, universally acknowledged for its high quality, sought-after flavour and rich protein. Equally important are the famous «Tonda e Gentile» hazelnuts from Piedmont, held in high regard for their unique aroma, delicate flavour and soft, creamy paste.
Today, Baratti & Milano still retains its «artisanal» soul expressed through the sophistication, high quality, professional expertise and passion of its master chocolatiers, the exclusive character its products and elegant packaging. Yet the company has also achieved production perfection assuring constant quality and strict control.