Is’ one of the luxury table symbols, He loved by chefs around the world, always present on the tables of kings and aristocrats, but also to foodies and gourmets. Is’ truffles, loved by young people and hated at the same time by those who can not stand the smell that gas, instead, for others it is intoxicating. Quoted in De Re Coquinaria of Apicius, gastronome of the Roman era; brought to the court of the King of France in 1500 by Catherine De’ Medici; He adored in 1800 by the great composer Gioacchino Rossini; always present in the House Savoy menu, the kings of Italy. The truffle, underground mushroom, belonging to the family Tuberacee, He is living two lives: the first underground, growing in symbiosis with tall plants and surviving out only under specific environmental and climatic characteristics; the second the light, in the starry chef dishes and those who can afford to buy it. The practice of truffle hunting has been known since ancient times: There are testimonies from the period of the Sumerians and Babylonians, to get to the Romans (Pliny the Elder in the first century BC it explicitly mentions) and, then, over the centuries, the Middle Ages and the modern age, to this day. An important food, delicate, to preserve with care but to be eaten as fresh as possible. A product around which is always created an atmosphere of mystery, made of jealously guarded knowledge to pass on to a few trustworthy people. A fungus capable of entire economic systems support. Italy is one of the countries where truffles grow almost anywhere, from North to South, operate and where many companies that collect, transform and sell abroad.
I have long been an admirer of the truffle: for me it is almost a rite buy, considering the prices, a small white truffle (truffle great pico). I usually do in November, while in January purchase the prized black truffle in summer and scorzone. In the fall of 2018, I was in the Marche, one of the many areas where the truffle is abundant. Here I made this short video, between the villages of Amandola and Acqualagna. For Amandola, in particular, Nazzareno in the company Polini, I attended the performance of the truffle search. An ancient art. In these territories, where the clay gullies alternate with forests of oak trees, It is easy to find in the truffle diggers, who, with their trained dogs, exploring the territory in search of this precious fungus.
Amato not only in Italy, especially thanks to the world of haute cuisine, the truffle has become a typical agri-food excellence of Made in Italy. A product, spread from Piedmont to Sicily, that invokes deep traditions, sedimentate, shared knowledge and secrets, to keep. Dawn, in the province of Cuneo, where there is the largest Italian truffle fair, Acqualagna, San Miniato, San Giovanni d'Asso, San Pietro Avellana. The truffles are over 50 cities throughout Italy, from North to South, from Piedmont to Calabria. together, These cities promote everything that revolves around this fungus. together, they asked for Unesco recognition for the truffle culture and art in his search. Acqualagna, along with some towns in the Marche, You are preparing to apply for PDO for the black truffle, which can be grown in the hills of facilities approved and supervised: Dop would be the first in the world for a truffle. And who knows this PDO not also contribute to the expected amendment of the law which regulates the collection of this agricultural product that is, in all and for all, a luxury item: Today there is no requirement to indicate the origin of the nose and the consumer does not know, when purchasing, from where (Italy or estero) coming exactly what you buy, neither knows whether it is harvested or cultivated, in the case of prized black. Not only. The miners sell the product without invoicing requirements, because the truffle is an agricultural product with reduced VAT 4%.
The nose is composed of 80% water and 20% ash, nitrogen, protein and carbohydrates: chemical description is not able to make the scent and taste of this delicacy that many love to hate and many, precisely because of its characteristic aroma reminiscent of moss and methane gas. Eight main varieties of truffle, six black (ordinary black, black Muscat, black hamate, black summer, Black and prized black winter) and two white: whitebait and white truffle (truffle great pico), the most valuable and sought, the most expensive, but also the most good.
That's why truffles can be eaten all year round: varieties have different harvesting seasons, although the white bond varieties are generally harvested between October and December, period in which they are concentrated most of the events and fairs. One of the most important is to Acqualagna, city of the province of Pesaro Urbino, which it represents a big productive pole of the Italian truffle, from white precious to precious black, that is grown in the surrounding hills. Aqualagna, which by law it is along with Alba truffle cities, It is the largest Italian district of truffles: Here there are more than 2 thousand miners members, the so-called “trifolau”, and the city's economy is based on its prized tuber (just Acqualagna was inaugurated in 2018 a nice truffle museum with a multisensory and multidisciplinary approach, must visit): 10 outlets, 8 companies that live by transforming and selling truffles, 15 resales dedicated to the truffle in all its forms, from fresh to dry up to a variety of products based on truffles. The most expensive is the prized white (that we can not cultivate), with prices that can range from 2 to 5 euro per gram, depending on the year and the seasons. The truffle, either black or white, It is an ingredient that can make unique even a simple dish. If you want to be inspired and try some recipes with white or black truffle (prized by the scorzone), try the 30 egg yolks tagliolini with truffles, the crostini with quail egg and truffle, the pasta with artichokes, bacon and truffle, the wonderful eggs with fondue and truffles whior, the sole rolls with summer truffle.