Monday, October 11, 2010

Alba, Italy Truffle Hunting

We spent a weekend in Alba Italy searching for the white truffle. Those that are really lucky can find one with the help of a dog (used to be pigs) and have a meal fit for the king.

The white truffle might smell like earth, tree roots and old cheese, but this gastronomical object of desire, from Italy's Piedmont region, is very famous for its aroma, taste and aphrodisiac qualities. For centuries people have travelled from near and far just to savor a little piece. It is a gastronomical jewel only to be experienced at its fullest intensity in Alba, Italy.

And, it is always a mystery as to which tree might produce the best, as individual trees vary considerably. Other tree species such as the hazelnut, lime, poplar, willow also present possibilities for savory truffles to grow. The size, flavor and aroma of a truffle is contingent on various factors such as moisture, weather, species and age of the tree, soil type and acidity, proximity to the roots and tree trunk, and insect traffic. Nature has a way of making certain that the truffle ultimately created is a gift of surprise.

One thing that is important to remember when eating truffle, is that it is always best to eat it with simple foods like pasta, rice, or meat dishes, with truffle thinly, delicately sliced over it; a special truffle cutting knife is used for fine slicing.

Here are the pics from out trip!

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