Alba hosts the annual International Alba White Truffle Festival (Fiera Internazionale Tartufo Bianco d’Alba) each autumn which is the ideal place to enjoy white truffles with the famous Barolo wine. A glass of Barolo is the classic accompaniment as it draws out the earthy quality and perfume of these world famous truffles.
About the Alba White Truffle
The ‘tartufo bianco d’Alba’ is found in the southwestern part of Piedmont, a region of northern Italy. Truffle is the common noun designating the fruiting bodies (sporocarps) of fungi, in genus Tuber, whose entire life cycle takes place in the earth (subterranean). Truffles must live in symbiotic relationships with certain trees in order to produce the precious sporocarps.
In order to find a truffle, the truffle hunter or trifolao must take advantage of the invaluable collaboration of a dog with excellent sniffing skills, trained to detect the aroma of this fungus, and of his intuition gained over years of experience.
The truffle, after being detected by the dog, is extracted from the soil by the hunter. This is an operation where the trifolao uses a particular hoe, and which needs to be carried out with utmost delicacy. The operation ends only when the excavated soil is compacted again and it allows the extraction of the Tuber Magnatum Pico.
It is essential that all connoisseurs are well informed about the truffle harvesting calendar of each region, and that, according to the provisions set at regional level, they purchase the product or consume it at the restaurant only when authorised.
The Centro Nazionale Studi Tartufo and Unione delle Associazioni Trifolao Piemontesi explain how essential a period of “rest” is to avoid excessive exploitation of the environment during a key moment for the fruiting body maturation. The “biological rest period”, which orders a rest period for the collection of all truffle species from 1st to 20th September, is an integral part of the life path of this fungus and, therefore, it is necessary and very important.
The Alba White Truffle World Market
The heart of the Fair in October and November is the Alba White Truffle World Market, the ideal place to appreciate and buy truffles from the Langhe, Monferrato and Roero area. Within the Truffle Market you will find Alba Truffle Show: a space dedicated to cooking shows,, the Truffle Sensory Analysis, the Wine Tasting Experience, twinnings with territories of food and wine excellence and “taste weddings” among the hills of Langhe, Monferrato and Roero along with guests, events and debates.
The International Alba White Truffle Fair is one of the top showcases of haute cuisine and you can journey from the French Riviera for a mini getaway to experience Piemontese hospitality and traditions on a culinary and cultural visit.
Here at Adams & Adams, the truffle is a symbol of gastronomy – inspirational dishes feature truffle caviar, risotto with porcini mushrooms and white truffle, potatoes with truffle cream, or even truffled foie gras.
The 90th edition of the festival is on until December 8, 2020.
For more details, go to International Alba White Truffle Fair.
Photos: Giorgio Perottino / Langhe