Walking through the woods in autumn is not only enjoyable because if you are lucky you may come across a precious porcini mushroom, but also because you may have the chance to find a valuable truffle hidden in the undergrowth.
Truffles belong to the mushroom category, but unlike mushrooms, they are not easily visible to the naked eye.
They are hidden underground, and their intense, penetrating scent attracts wild animals like pigs, boars and dogs, which are valuable helpers when hunting and collecting them.
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The truffle in gastronomy is an extremely valuable and sought-after ingredient.
In Italy, truffles can be found in many regions, from Piedmont to Sicily, but certainly the rarest is the white one from Alba.
A trip to Alba searching the extremely rare white truffle
Alba is the capital of the Langhe area and is set on a hilly area in the north-east of the province of Cuneo, surrounded by vineyards that provide internationally renowned wines such as Barolo and Barbera.
The white truffle of Alba is a typical variety of the Piedmont area, the best quality of which is usually picked in the Langhe woods in autumn.
The truffle’s unique flavour and pungent aroma have made it the true protagonist of many recipes and popular with chefs all over then world.
Thanks to its truffle, Alba is a popular tourist destination, especially during the “International White Truffle Fair”; that takes place this year from 8 October to 4 December.
Alba and the Monferrato area are one of the five destinations that the Cuciniamo Italy website recommends to foreign tourists for spending their autumn holidays surrounded by nature and “delicious food“;. To discover the other destinations, read the article and plan your tour in Italy.
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The truffle is an ingredient that enriches the flavour and lends a special aroma to many recipes.
The extremely valuable white Alba truffle is at its best when grated directly onto the dish without adding it during cooking.
A recipe that is ideal for a sprinkling of truffle before serving is certainly parmesan risotto.
On the Cuciniamo Italy website, chef Danilo Angè shares the secrets of his recipe.
This risotto garnished with grated parmesan cheese or truffle shavings is a complete dish, very appetising and most importantly very easy to make.
Photo credits featured image @Cuciniamoitaly