Some Info About Truffles

TRUFFLES

Savor the aroma, taste and quality of the famous white truffles of San Miniato and/or Alba.  The beauty of these white truffles lies in their rarity – being collected only during October, November and December.

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San Miniato

In fact, about twenty years ago, a group known as the ‘Tartufai delle Colline Sanminiatesi’ or the Truffle gatherers of the San Miniato hills, formed to collaborate together in the hunting of the traditional white truffle along with their truffle dogs.

During the brief season, there are numerous white truffle fairs hosting markets where people can enjoy the fragrance and flavor.  The San Miniato National White Truffle Market held annually during the last three weeks of November or such events can be found in smaller towns near San Miniato like Balconevisi, where you can buy from the actual truffle gatherers.

Alba

Like the white truffles of San Miniato, those from Alba in the Piedmont region are also famous for the aroma, taste and many qualities.  Here, truffle dogs and hunters are also used for the pursuit of these underground surprises.

The National White Truffle Fair of Alba runs annually attracting many tourists and locals.  The Alba truffle market is open throughout the hunting season and smaller fairs are held in Langhe and Monferrato areas as well.

A local tradition in Alba surrounding the white truffle includes giving a prized truffle to a famous person.  Starting in the 1950’s with Giacomo Morra, later recipients include Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Reagan, Winston Churchill, and celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Luciano Pavarotti, and Alfred Hitchcock.

Interesting Facts about White Truffles

  • The truffles and their aroma last about 3 days, so they must be bought and consumed fresh!
  • The consistent different between white truffles from different areas is contingent on variable factors including:

-Moisture

-Weather

-Species

-Age of the tree

-Soil type

-Acidity

-Proximity to the roots and tree trunk

-Insect traffic

For example, if there is a drought, the truffles suffer from dryness, and release a strong aroma that fades rapidly when harvested.  If it is particularly wet and damp, there is little fragrance at all.