Alba Truffle Fair

Travel Guide: History of Exquisite Italian Truffles and their Festivals

What is your first impression of traveling to Italy? Most people think of Rome, Milan, mesmerizing landscapes, monuments, structures, beautiful islands, the sea, churches, pizza, art, etc. However, we rarely pay heed to the flavors of Italy. Truffle is such a delicacy that can serve you the best combo. Moreover, when truffles are paired with a simple rosette, scrambled eggs, or paste, it adds to the flavor. Their usage can be traced to Greek and Roman days. However, to add more excitement, you should visit the exciting truffle festivals that are celebrated all over Italy.

The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

About Truffles

Truffles are mostly a type of edible mushroom that grows in the wilderness of France and Italy, ie. Europe. Besides, they exist in North America, North Africa, and Asia. Further, they belong to families of tuber or Terfezia. This mushroom variety grows on a certain type of tree root and grows underground. However, to collect them they have to dig the ground below trees. Usually oak trees. Moreover, it is an expensive item because of their brilliant taste and ways of collecting. Be it black or white, irrespective of type, they are hard for humans to find. Today, trained sniffer dogs help their owners to collect the truffles. 

The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

Pigs Vs Dogs

In earlier days, pigs were assigned to the task. Especially the female pigs, for whom truffles were the most desired foodstuff. These pigs were advantageous for their sniffing ability. However, the pigs were eating almost everything. Furthermore, they were found to spoil the soil. Dogs were found as a better option. Hence, the age-old practices of using pigs have been demolished. Nowadays, trained sniffer dogs are assigned to the job the pigs were doing.

The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

About Truffle Festivals

The locals of Italy are renowned for their ability to organize colorful festivals. One such notable event is the truffle festivals. The festival is religiously celebrated once a year between the seasons spring and fall. It marks the celebration of the truffle season, where food fests, cultural programs, shopping, and other entertainment would be worth participating in. However, the festivals may be long or short depending upon their duration. The short festivals are mostly held on weekends. Whereas, there may be longer ones that last for several weeks. Furthermore, the longer ones are considered as the bigger ones. Not only get a glimpse of their culture, but also the food habits of the native Italians.

The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

More About the Festival

The festival is celebrated heartily all over Italy. Moreover, the varieties you come across are more or less similar. So, don’t worry if you have missed anything. Keep enjoying the best types being offered by renowned chefs of that location.

Which Kind Is Better, the White or the Black Type Of Truffle?

Well, the conclusion remains disputable. Moreover, both are precious and comparison is quite difficult because they belong to different locations of origin. These truffles have different flavors and the types of cuisine are different. Further, we should be aware of availability and shelf life. Furthermore, the texture of white and black truffles is different. However, here are few varieties of truffles that are used

  • The Bianchheto or Marzulo type truffle.
  • Then Summer Black types of truffle
  • The black type
  • The white truffle
  • Then the Fall black truffle
  • There are winter black truffles
  • Furthermore, the smooth black truffle
The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

About White Alba Truffle

This type is grown in Northern Italy, Alba. Wherefrom it earned its name. They are also known as Magnum Pico and they are scientifically known as Tuber Magnatum Pico. Further, they are known for their commercial value. This type of truffle is a bit granular. Moreover, because of the holes in the rind, it develops an irregular shape. They have a smooth velvety covered skin. The color of the exquisite truffles varies between cream and ocher. Furthermore, these truffles are aromatic and easily distinguishable from others. The inside of the truffles is greyish or yellowish accompanied by white grains. They grow on trees like lime, willow, oak, or polar. Besides, they have specific requirements to grow. These are humidity, ventilation, and soft soil. Mostly between September and December, they are hunted. The most favored ingredient in truffle festivals, held around Italy.

The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

The Black Norcia Truffle

Following the white variety, next on the preference list is the Black truffle. This variety is widespread in Umbria. Especially, areas of Norcia and Spoleto. These truffles are aromatic and known for their properties. Unlike the white one, these truffles are pretty roundish. Their surface is warty. The entire rind is covered with hexagonal rands. Moreover, they have a dark brown color with shades of rubbed rust. The black truffles are found to grow in mountainous regions. Moreover, hazel, oak, or English oak are types of trees they prefer to grow. Furthermore, the black Norcia Truffle gets hunted between December and March.

Few Notable Truffle Festivals

  • The International White Truffle Festival Alba, Piedmont.
  • Then Acqualagna Truffle Festival Le Marche.
  • Further, the Festival of Tignale. Lake Garda.
  • Moreover, Moncalvo Truffle Fair.
  • Furthermore, San Miniato Truffle Fair, Tuscany.
  • The Dovadola Truffle Festival, Emilia Romagn.
  • Further, Truffle and Potato Festival Pietralunga, Umbria.
  • Moreover, His Majesty The Truffle in Brisighella, Ravenna.

The uniqueness of the International White Truffle Festival in Alba

The famous site of Alba town, where the International White Truffle Festivals are held, is located in the northwest part of Italy. Further, you can enjoy yourself as much as possible because you have two months in hand. The festival is held between October and December, which offers you full family entertainment. Moreover, there are special arrangements for kids to enjoy. The place Alba is easily reached from Genoa, Turin, or Milan. The main attraction is the combo of Ferraro chocolates, white Alba truffles, and wine. Besides, if you wish to buy something, you can visit the central truffle market. Not only tubes but also a wide variety of local wine, cheese, and cured meats are on display. Besides, you can also try the famous Piedmont chestnuts and Hazelnuts.

The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

Weekend Specials

On Saturdays and Sundays regularly, an event gets organized at the festival. Further, some of the best cooks in the area cook delicious platters. Additionally, does wine tasting seem interesting? Don’t they? You can enjoy a fun-filled weekend. Even kids have their share. Events are organized in their favor as well. In the case of babies, separate changing rooms are provided. So, keep your worries elsewhere to make your experience memorable.

Fun and Frolic at Acqualagna Truffle Festival, le Marche

Moreover, if we take a closer look, Acqualagna is the only place in Italy where fresh truffles can be enjoyed throughout the year. Three. Truffle festivals are held throughout the year in Acqualagna in the Le March of Urbino province. These are

  • The Regional black truffle fair last February Sunday
  • On last Sunday of July, the black summer truffle festival
  • After two weeks, last Sunday in October, the most happening festival takes place. Moreover, the National white truffle fair is considered the most important.
The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

Benefits of these Festivals

The renowned truffles are sold in stalls located at Piazza Enrico Matai. Further, truffle-based products can be availed at nearby Palo Tartufo. Products like cheese, butter, or oil. Whatever suits your tasty truffle is available here. Similar to Alba festivals, prominent chefs of the area display their cooking skills.

Festival in Tingale, Lake Garda

In the Western part of Italy, this small town is located. Your visit to this Lake Garda town during the truffle festivals would be enjoyable for sure. The festival is held at the end of September or the beginning of October. During this period, restaurants gear up to serve their self-designed truffle dishes. Moreover, during this season, the favored restaurant II Calderon is known to serve delicious seafood dishes along with a creative truffle menu. Furthermore, the delicious platter of seafood is made with tasty ingredients as well as a rustic design.

The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

Delicious Encounter at Moncalvo Truffle Fair

Located at the foothills of Monferrato Hills, you can find this small tourist destination, Moncalvo. The truffle fair was organized last October. Mostly, the last Sundays are allocated for the fair. Moreover, the central square, Piazza Carlo Alberto, has been transformed into a hub of celebrations. Furthermore, you can enjoy buying fresh truffles, mushrooms, cheese, local pastries, or wine at offered prices. It provides a relaxed ambiance where you can make purchases or taste as you like.

The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

Historical San Miniato Truffle Fair, Tuscany

If you want to visit Tuscany, Miniato is the most historical place where you get the flavor of the most renowned variety of truffles. Further, the place was envied because of its rich sources of white truffle. It was because the neighboring Valdegola was rich with vegetation of willow and oak trees. Additionally, the fertile soil and humidity prompted further growth of white truffle varieties. As per historical data, in 1954, the variety of white truffles was excessive. It can be found to have been gifted to President Eisenhower in Atlantis. Furthermore, the fair commenced in 1969 and has been celebrated at the historical downtown since. 

The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

Few Exclusive Facts

The fair is held every second, third, and fourth weekend of November. Not only fresh truffles, but visitors get an opportunity to eat a variety of pork delicacies. Moreover, viewers can enjoy the historical buildings and structures. Further, if I wished, Pisa is nearby, just 32kms away.

Attractive Dovadola Truffle festival, Emilia Romagna

Similar to its neighboring Tuscany, even Emilia Romagna is renowned for its truffle resources. Moreover, this small town of Dovadola is recognized for its big truffle festival. Further, this small town located in the Montone river valley celebrates this big truffle festival on 16th and 23rd October. The main intention of the festival is to sell truffle products. Hence, the visitors are expected to purchase them after tasting. The second intention is to raise awareness of truffle culture and what all they have to share they all from this part of the country. Furthermore, visitors and the current truffle hunters get in contact with these festivals. Hence an opportunity to direct purchase from truffle hunters as possible.

The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

Tips to Visitors

Evenings and afternoons may see a crowd of people assembling. The best time to visit in the morning.

Excellence of Truffle and Potato Festival Pietralunga, Umbria

Situated in the central portion of Italy, Umbria is a cozy city that comes to life in October, when it’s time for the truffle and potato festivals. Further, Umbria is located halfway to Rome to the south and Florence to its north. The restaurants of the area serve delicious foods with truffles and potatoes. Not only delicious food but also several truffle-themed activities are showcased during the festival. Besides dog races, the motorcycle can be participated in as well. Furthermore, kids have learning areas and fun-filled activities ideal for spending time.

The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

Know About His Majesty The Truffle in Brisighella, Ravenna

The big truffle festival of Brisighella is named His Majesty The Truffle. Generally, the festival is held in late November. Further, Brisighella of Ravenna is a small medieval age town bordered by three fort-topped hills. Moreover, the Brisighella, a part of Ravenna, is confined within the rolling landscape of vineyards. Moreover, the locals, with their pastel-colored houses get ready to celebrate the big festival. However, you as a visitor must be aware of the pungent smell of truffles. The black and the more pungent-smelling white varieties are put on display. But, the smell gets ignored when you participate in the festivals.

Why Ravenna?

The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

Italy is known to be Romantic. But this portion of the country retains relics of the Byzantine era. Moreover, the tomb of the great King Theodoric is here. The marvelous architecture and especially the floor mosaics are worth visiting.

Tips for Truffle Festival Visitors

  • Visitors must keep in mind, the truffles have a short shelf life. The fresh truffles bought from festivals must be consumed at the earliest.
  • Remember truffles should not be cooked. It serves best as a complimentary side dish with egg, risotto, or pasta.

Cultural Significance in Anthropology

Truffles are a delicious food item in Italy. It goes amazingly with pasta, risotto or eggs. Traces of it can be found in the Medieval ages as well. Hunting is difficult. Presently, trained dogs perform hunting activities on behalf of their masters. However, pigs were used for the purpose. But their negative effects made hunters adopt an alternative. Italy is today a dream destination in Europe. But people hardly know there are more varieties to explore. The truffle festivals, for example, are hardly known by visitors. What is the importance of truffles? Varieties and their consecutive hunting procedures are not known to all.

The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter

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