Considered one of the most decadent foods in the world, the unassuming truffle is a delicacy that inspires religious fervour amongst devotees. Italy's much-anticipated truffle season is set to commence in October and with this in mind, Essteele has collated several of the best truffle experiences in the country.
Whilst the Savini family's reputation as fourth-generation truffle hunters is legendary in Tuscany, it was their 2007 discovery of the largest truffle on record that shot them to truffle fame, amidst a flurry of international media attention. The family have since built a museum dedicated to the aromatic tuber including a replica of the 1.5kilogram truffle which was sold at auction for a staggering USD$3330,000. Visitors can embark on a hunt with members of the family and their purpose-bred hunting dogs.
Italian Cooking School and Tours
Luigi and Giuseppina Pizzolato are true truffle aficionados and their devotion to the highly prized fungus has enabled them to pursue their twin passions, cooking and truffle hunting. The Italian Cooking School offers an array of activities but the most popular is their Tuscan truffle hunting package where Luigi and son Luca take guests on an expedition in the woods of the surrounding Chianti hills. Once the tour has concluded, foragers can opt for a truffle-inspired cooking class or sit back and let Giuseppina prepare her famous truffle-based Tuscan brunch.
Giulio The Truffle Hunter
Serious connoisseurs should consider partaking in a course with hunter Giulio Benuzzi and his fully immersive experience into the world of the truffle. Since 2005 the master hunter has dedicated his days to the research of truffles particular to Tuscany. Guilio has curated several practical, hands-on courses designed to help food lovers understand the complex and secret world of truffles. The comprehensive lessons are based on Giulio's personal experiences, and the content includes dog training techniques, the classification and presentation of each variety of truffle and tips on how to clean and care for your bounty once you have located it.
For those less keen on tramping through woodlands in search of the elusive treasures, there is the option of attending Italy's many festivals dedicated to all things truffle related. Essteele has listed some of the most reputable below:
Alba’s white truffle fair and market, one of the best in Italy, takes place on weekends from early October through mid-November. The fair includes the truffle world auction and a white truffle walk for tourists.
San Miniato Truffle Fair, La Sagra del Tartufo Bianco, is held in the medieval hill town of San Miniato on the second, of November. 25% of Italy’s white truffles are produced in this territory and November is the heart of truffle gathering season. There are food and craft stands and entertainment and local restaurants feature truffle-themed menus.
Acqualagna, the town that calls itself the “truffle capital” holds a white truffle fair on weekends starting at the end of October through mid-November. Sant'Angelo in Vado, near Urbania, has a truffle fair on weekends for several weeks in October.
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