Lunch for a king: soups, fried food and chocolate at Turin’s Royal Palace

Lunch for a king: soups, fried food and chocolate at Turin’s Royal Palace

Lunches for a king: soups, fried food and chocolate. These were some of the frequently served dishes at the Savoy table. The room on the piano nobile of the Turin’s former Royal Palace, today’s Royal Museums, was laid out with great magnificence.

The Royal Palace

A very long oval table set with embroidered tablecloths, fine porcelain plates, crystal glasses and silver cutlery welcomed the guests of the Savoy royal family. The room was connected by a freight elevator to the kitchens below. The Head of Mouth coordinated the cooks, carvers, waiters and dishwashers.

The dining room is part of the itineraries of the Royal Museums. It is an evocative place of great appeal for the elegance of its objects. The kitchen utensils that  are still preserved are a confirmation of the richness of the menus.


A special place of honour, according to culinary chronicles, was given to chocolate. The latter was offered piping hot accompanied by Savoiardi biscuits.

Among the famous Piedmontese chefs, there waas Giovanni Vialardi, who at the court of the kings published his first Treatise on Cuisine in 1852 and then in 1863 a new book aimed at the bourgeoisie, Bourgeoise Cuisine. His long experience also allowed him to simplify complex recipes that he wanted to propose to the townspeople. The Tajarin or Lombata di cinghialetto alla Re galantuomo (wild boar stew) drove Vittorio Emanuele II crazy, who is said to have been a gourmand.  Many other recipes are still on the tables of Italians today.

Sabina Castelfranco

Radio and Television Journalist with 30 years of experience as a Correspondent and Producer, Sabina Castelfranco was born in Buenos Aires, grew up in Italy, Spain and America and graduated at the London School of Economics. After passing the Italian State exam as a professional journalist, she became a reporter for Vatican Radio, CBS Radio and Voice of America among others. Since 1998 she works as a producer for CBS 60 Minutes and freelances for all major American, British and Australian networks.

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