In Search of Truffle

Tue, 10/06/2015 - 01:00

At least 50 cities in 11 different Italian regions are celebrating truffle this fall with one or more events dedicated to “il tartufo”, while truffle hunters are busy scouring Italian woods and hills in search of the precious underground fungus.

Let’s look at some of the main events where you can touch, smell and taste i tartufi.

The area of Langhe-Roero in the northern region of Piedmont is renowned for the prestigious white truffle (tartufo bianco). The famous Fiera Internazionale del tartufo bianco d’Alba (International White Truffle Fair), takes place in Alba (October 10-November 15), and celebrates not just truffle, but also truffle hunting dogs. At the stands, you will find certified, local-only truffles and you will be able to taste many culinary creations, such as the classic uovo e tartufo, egg and truffle.

In Emilia-Romagna, the Val Baganza in the province of Parma hosts the Fiera nazionale del tartufo nero di Fragno (National Fair of the Black Truffle of Fragno) for five consecutive Sundays, starting October 17. This unique species of truffle, protected by law since 1991, is normally enjoyed fresh, and will be the featured ingredient at the fair as well as at the local restaurants for several weeks. You can also join guided visits to the “tartufaia”, the truffle farm, with trained dogs.

In Tuscany, head to the Mostra mercato del Tartufo Bianco delle Crete Senesi, in San Giovanni d’Asso, on November 9-10 and 16-17. Here, you can take part in truffle hunting in the woods, visit the Museum of Truffle, as well as olive oil mills, local farms, and enjoy truffle-themed menus in the local restaurants. To reach this town in the province of Siena you can hop on the “Nature Train”, the vintage steam train departing from Siena or Grosseto.

Umbria hosts many events related to truffle as the tradition here is very strong. In Pietralunga for example, the Mostra Mercato del Tartufo e della Patata Bianca, taking place on October 9-11 and 17-18, combines truffle and the local white potato; Gubbio and Città di Castello host the Mostra del Tartufo Bianco, beginning October 22 and 30 respectively.

Proceeding toward the south of Italy, in Bagnoli Irpino in Campania, you can take part in excursions showing how to hunt for truffles, go from osteria to osteria to taste the local truffle-inspired dishes, while also visiting the area's historic and artistic sites.

In the mood for truffles now? Check out our Foodie Guide