Bagna càuda

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Bagna càuda
Bagna càuda is kept hot by a small heat source below the dish.
Place of originProvence
Associated cuisineProvence; Piedmont
Main ingredientsGarlic, anchovies, olive oil

Bagna càuda (Piedmontese: [ˈbɑɲɐ ˈkɑʊ̯dɐ]; lit.'hot dip' or 'hot gravy')[1] also written bagna caouda in Nice[2] is a hot dish made from garlic and anchovies originating in Provence[3][4], France, and nowadays also part of the cuisine of the Lower Piedmont, a geographical region of Piedmont, Italy.[5][6] The dish is served and consumed in a manner similar to fondue, sometimes as an appetizer, with raw or cooked vegetables typically used to dip into it.[7]


Bagna càuda is a hot dish and dipping sauce in Italian and Provençal cuisine that is used to dip vegetables in.[8][9] It is prepared using olive oil, chopped anchovies and garlic.[8][9] Additional ingredients sometimes used include truffle and salt.[8] Raw or cooked vegetables are dipped into the sauce, which is typically kept hot on a serving table using a heat source such as a candle or burner.[8]

Bagna càuda originated in Provence and has been a part of Piedmontese cuisine since the 16th century.[8][10] In Piedmont, cardoon (edible thistle) is often dipped in the sauce.[8] Additional foods used to dip into it include cabbage, celery, carrot, Jerusalem artichoke, pepper, fennel and bread.[8][11] It is sometimes served as an appetizer.[12][13]

In the past, walnut or hazelnut oil would have been used.[14] Sometimes, truffles are used in versions around Alba, Piedmont, Italy.[15] It is traditionally eaten during the autumn and winter months, particularly at Christmas and New Year's, and must be served hot, as the name suggests.

Consumption outside of Italy[edit]

It is also a popular winter dish in central Argentina[16][17] and prevalent in Clinton, Indiana; Rock Springs, Wyoming; and Benld, Illinois;[18] as there were many northern Italian immigrants to those places.[19] Bagna càuda was also prepared in the coal-mining community of Madison County, Illinois[20] (including Collinsville,[21] Edwardsville and Maryville), due to the numerous Italian immigrants that came there to work in the mines.

A preparation of bagna càuda


The recipe is typical of Lower Piedmont, a geographical region of Piedmont, Italy, as in past centuries in that area it was very easy to obtain the salted anchovy, the fundamental ingredient, still used today in many typical Piedmontese recipes, especially among appetizers, for example, the anciove al bagnet verd or al bagnèt ross. Ancient Piedmont obtained its salt from the saline of Provence and the mouths of the Rhône, through a series of commercial routes crossing the passes of the Maritime Alps and known as "salt roads"; in fact at the time Nice and its surroundings were territory Savoyard. Legend has it that the trade in salted anchovies was a way to trade salt, thus avoiding paying the high duties: tubs full of salt presented a layer of salted anchovies in the upper part to the control of the tax collectors. In reality, throughout the Piedmont of the old regime, the salt gabelle was a compulsory tax and not linked to consumption. Not only that, salted anchovies were much more expensive and their price was sustainable only in relation to the modest purchase quantities. The "anchovy seller" (ancióaire in Piedmontese language) was the itinerant merchant who with the typical cart pulled by horses or oxen brought the anchovies in barrels and wooden casks.

The bagna càuda was rejected for a long time by the wealthier classes, who considered it a coarse food and unsuitable for a refined diet, in particular, due to the presence of garlic and the effects of its intake on the breath, which they remain for a certain time (in some cases even up to twenty-four hours). For this reason, written information about this dish is rather rare in Piedmontese gastronomic texts. The first detailed description of the bagna càuda in its current version is due to Roberto Sacchetti and dates back to 1875.[22]

Similar dishes[edit]

Pinzimonio is a similar dipping sauce prepared using olive oil, salt, pepper and occasionally wine vinegar that is served with raw vegetables[10][23] and is typically served cold.[24]

Anchoïade is a similar dish served in France.

See also[edit]

Media related to Bagna càuda at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of bagna càuda at Wiktionary


  1. ^ "bagna". Grande Dizionario Piemontese Olivetti. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  2. ^ Ducasse, Alain (2009-11-13). Gran libro de cocina de Alain Ducasse. Mediterráneo (in Spanish). Ediciones AKAL. ISBN 978-84-460-2327-2.
  3. ^ "stampaitalianobagnacaoda.PDF". Retrieved 2024-05-22.
  4. ^ Howell, Francesca Ciancimino (2018-08-09). Food, Festival and Religion: Materiality and Place in Italy. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-350-02087-0.
  5. ^ Machado, Amparo; Prete, Chiara (2015-09-24). 1001 specialità della cucina italiana da provare almeno una volta nella vita (in Italian). Newton Compton Editori. ISBN 978-88-541-8648-4.
  6. ^ Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2023-08-11. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ La Cucina Italiana 2008, s.v.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Root, W. (1992). The Food of Italy. Vintage Books. pp. 319–320. ISBN 978-0-679-73896-1. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Sinclair, C.G. (1998). International Dictionary of Food and Cooking. Fitzroy Dearborn. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-57958-057-5. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Western Pennsylvania History. Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. 1999. p. 167. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  11. ^ Los Angeles Magazine. 2008. p. 114. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  12. ^ Buckley, Chris (November 27, 2012). "Iconic Charleroi eatery – Rego's – changes hands". Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  13. ^ Waters, A.L. (2014). Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook (in French). HarperCollins. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-06-235400-6. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  14. ^ Paolo Massobrio, ‘Il rito della Bagnacauda’ Archived July 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, a+, December 2004.
  15. ^ Hesser, Amanda (November 5, 2009). "Bagna Cauda, 1960". New York Times. p. MM20, New York edition. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  16. ^ McCloskey, E.; Ainsley, R.; Eder, T. (2011). Argentina: The Bradt Travel Guide. Bradt Guides. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 388. ISBN 978-1-84162-351-1. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  17. ^ Books, Madison; Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC; Kummer, C. (2007). 1001 Foods To Die For (in German). Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-7407-7043-2. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  18. ^ Zelinsky, Wilbur (2001). The Enigma of Ethnicity: Another American Dilemma. NONE Series. University of Iowa Press. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-58729-339-9. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  19. ^ Calvitto, C. (2007). Searching for Italy in America's Rural Heartland. Vantage Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-533-15737-2. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  20. ^ Hillig, Terry. Miners’ heritage is on display in Collinsville. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. September 22, 2010. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  21. ^ Starkey, Roger. Collinsville Sunrise Kiwanis: Selling bagna cauda and peanuts for a better Christmas. The Metro Independent. September 12, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  22. ^ Piedmont (16 November 2018). "La Bagna Caòda" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 November 2014.
  23. ^ Darrow, D.; Maresca, T. (2012). The Seasons of the Italian Kitchen. Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated. p. pt185. ISBN 978-0-8021-9341-4. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  24. ^ Vivian, C.; Sansone, V.P. (2011). Tuscan-American Kitchen, A (in German). Pelican Pub. Company. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-58980-906-2. Retrieved January 4, 2018.

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