Each year culinary connoisseurs convene in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy to honor the white truffle. This rare and very expensive type of mushroom is only available for a few months. From townies to top chefs, autumn is the season to celebrate a gastronomic treasure which, when shaved over a dish, transforms it into quite the luxury item.
The International Alba White Truffle Fair
Now through November 24, the International Alba White Truffle Fair is one of Italy’s longest-running festivals, celebrating its 89th birthday this year. Held in the old town of Alba, a UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy, the Fair initially focused on the food and wine of the region but then expanded to include immersive experiences and cultural events. Every Saturday and Sunday, the White Truffle World Market buzzes with exhibitors, purveyors, chefs and local wineries. Within the 2,000-square-yard market, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase truffles certified by the National Truffle Study Centre and hobnob with likeminded foodies, all gathered in praise of this delicacy with its distinct scent and delectable flavor.
White Truffle Festival
For those unable to make the pilgrimage to Piedmont this year, the White Truffle Festival is bringing not only one but two of the Piedmont region’s luxurious exports – red wines along with those coveted Alba truffles—to some very lucky cities in the US. From November 8 to 17, restaurants will be presenting exclusive menus and dishes showcasing Alba white truffles from Urbani Truffles, paired with wines from Prunotto, including some whose vines grow alongside the truffles. Specialty dishes will be prepared and paired expertly with the wines by prominent chefs in New York, Miami, D.C., Boston, Denver, Las Vegas and San Francisco.
Now in its fourth year, the White Truffle Festival is letting American enthusiasts in on one of Italy’s rare treasures and traditions – indulging in this decadent and delicious fungi.
For a list of participating U.S. restaurants, go to www.whitetrufflefestival.com.
Interested in learning more? Join the Squire on a truffle hunting expedition and in exploring Italy’s Piedmont region.