Alba and its precious white truffles
The famous truffles (tartufo in Italian) is the kind of delicacy that you either love or hate, there is no middle ground (laughs)! Alba is the queen city of truffles in Italy, and some companies offer tours to ‘hunt’ them and taste them in various dishes. But, like every Italian city, Alba offers other tour options and they are all worth it! What’s up? Do you like truffles? Have you tried it? Shall we visit Alba and its precious white truffles in Piedmont? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Alba Tartufi vini e nocciole
(Source: Vaghi per il mondo – Viaggi & Cultura)
1) Alba and its precious white truffles – A LITTLE ABOUT ALBA
Alba is a city with about 30,000 inhabitants in northern Italy and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The city was known, in the times of the Roman empire, as the city of 100 towers: all houses had towers and the higher these towers, the richer the family. From that time, only 6 remained, but they did not lose any of their beauty. Most of the buildings still have their red brick facades, very charming!
2) Alba and its precious white truffles – VISIT THE CATHEDRAL
In the center of Alba there is the cathedral of the city, dedicated to Saint Lawrence. The narrow streets take us back to another era and the bars and restaurants are small and very beautiful. The city gets CROWDED in the period of the Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco D’Alba (“International Alba White Truffle Fair”), which takes place every year between October and November. Alba is very close to Barolo, so if possible, take a break there!
3) Alba and its precious white truffles – TRY THE TRUFFLES
Let’s talk about them: Alba’s white truffles! Who likes them, loves them! Who doesn’t like them, hates them! The taste for this delicacy is all or nothing! Would you like to do a Tour in Alba? Half-Day Truffle Tour and Tasting Tour in Piedmont Click Here with no commitment!
But, what are truffles?
Well, truffles are a type of fungus that grows underground, close to the roots of trees. It is like a mushroom, but it is buried between 4 and 40 centimeters and those who find it are dogs (or pigs) trained exclusively for this task! Amazingly, there are more than 70 types of truffles, but the most important, expensive and appreciated, are White and Black ones. They are very difficult to find and cannot be cultivated, which makes them even more rare (and expensive!).
The white truffle
In December 2014, a white truffle was sold, which was considered the largest and therefore the most valuable in the world: $ 62 million! One hundred grams of white truffle can cost up to 350 euros! The truffle cannot be cooked, only sliced, fresh, in a special appliance called ‘taglia tartufo’ (a kind of truffle slicer). The delicacy is excellent to be served and consumed fresh (about 36 hours after harvest) and it lasts a maximum of one week in the refrigerator, but should be kept wrapped in paper towels and in airtight glass
How do Alba’s white truffles “hunt”?
The most common method is with dogs prepared for this task, but some companies use pigs! The sense of smell of these animals is accurate to find these small fungi buried next to the trees and the greatest care is not to let the dog dig the earth so as not to damage the truffle. Usually the search for them is done in the morning and can last for hours!
The REAL Truffle Hunt
REAL truffle hunting (not tourism, which is also interesting!) takes place in the harsh Italian winter and the professionals start their journey around 5 am and enter the woods with dense, moist and not very friendly vegetation. As we learn about the process for finding truffles, we increasingly understand the reason for its very high value, don’t we? No wonder they call it an ‘edible diamond’. The flavor mixes tastes of garlic, chocolate and herbs, it is very particular and does not please everyone!
- The truffle is the second most expensive delicacy in the world, second only to caviar!
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Alba and its precious white truffles – Alba is a charm! Mandatory stop if you are nearby and passing through the region or taking the Piedmont wine route.
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