The Secret tips to eat the best Umbrian truffle
Part of the truffle’s allure lies in its elusive nature.
No other naturally grown food on the planet leads you on a trek into woodlands with only an intrepid dog companion as your guide, adding to the sense of drama and provenance of each individual truffle.
Combine the childhood joy of an Easter egg hunt or hide and seek with a walk in beautiful woodlands and you’re left with the best way to find one of nature’s most elusive foods.
Truffles are an expensive little pleasure, to say the least!
In October and November, the principal autumn months, we pick up the best white truffle.
The truffle hunters wake up very early in the morning and with the dog go to their secret place, that only they know, to find the precious tuber.
In the past, people used truffle pigs to find truffles (probably you are not surprised) but what I didn’t know was that the pigs would then go ahead and attempt to eat the truffles.
The truffle hunters soon learned to train dogs to do the truffle hunting, the dogs didn’t care much for truffle so it was win-win all round (the dogs get fed biscuits as a reward)
Great!! I found a Truffle
All around our land there is an abundance of places where those shy truffles are hiding, and all you need to find them is a little information, a ‘hunter’ and some sheer determination.
Finding a truffle hidden in woodlands can seem nigh-on impossible to a novice, but a well-versed guide knows the tell-tale signs to look out for when traversing the woodlands.
One signpost of a brule truffle for example is a pattern of missing vegetation around a tree, caused by organic compounds emitted by the truffle that can act as a herbicide to potential nearby flora.
One of the best ways to find a truffle in Umbria is with a dedicated and specially trained ‘truffle hound’ – these dogs are trained to follow the scent….
…..Don’t worry too much if you don’t have the patience to train a hound for a few months – it is possible to arrange a truffle hunts with a local hunter and his dog, (that make matters slightly easier).
Bring a small shovel, a little basket and a lot of patience and…
…you may well find your very own truffles to eat and enjoy!
It’s very funny follow the dog in the wood and then……
…..dog stop and start to dig…
…few minutes and… an explosion of truffle smell is in the air
Dog found a truffle!!!!
The truffle smell is magic, in particular the white one.
Maybe you’re wondering: what is the best woods to find truffles?
In truth, the best way to locate truffles is to find some local oak, beech, hazel or birch forests and hope for the best!
REMEMBER it’s important to find a forest and not just one sole and lonely tree
The hardest part of all……
……How to eat truffle
The best way to taste truffle is certainly with the pasta, prepared with some melted butter and a lot of fresh sliced truffle on the top.
But we can eat truffle in much different style:
- with a olive oil bruschetta,
- or sliced on the top of Chianina beefsteak,
- or with scrambled eggs…
- and why not with some dessert!!!
Some chefs prepared truffled tiramisu or truffled ice cream.
Just remember to never mix your truffle with highly acidic food – this will stifle the flavour and your truffle hunt will have been a waste!
Truffles are big business in Italy, they are prized ingredients in many Italian dishes.
It is used to prepare excellent truffled sauce or to flavor cheeses, olive oil, pasta, rice and…… craft beer and chips (I had an aperitivo with truffle beer and truffle chips….. Amazing!!!)
In Umbria in October and November there are a lot of events legate to the truffle, below the principal festivals:
- Truffle Festival of Città di Castello
- Truffle Festival of Gubbio
- Truffle Festival of Valtopina
- Wood products festival of Montone
Let’s go to discover some Umbrian wonders!!
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