It’s REAL truffle time here in Piemonte! Have you ever tried a white Alba truffle, this strange little nugget which is as precious as gold? Well I think you either love it or you hate it but the experience of the whole buzz around this fungus during this time of year is exciting for all.

When my parents were here we caught the end of the extended Alba Truffle Fair and got to see all kinds of expensive truffles displayed in cases. But since we would never spend that much on a truffle, the best way to enjoy the experience was to taste cheeses, truffle creams, hazelnuts and wine! These local goodies are always available at these kinds of fairs.
We even met some New (Jersians?) who were dining on a 48 euro shaved truffle on a sunny-side up egg and suggested it would be a better deal to buy a tiny one and do it yourself. Little did they know this was just our preview before the real-deal truffle hunt we were about to do on Wednesday!
The time finally came for our hands-on experience and we were so excited to be a part of this. We followed the truffle hunter up to his secret place in the woods where we watched him and his dog at work.

The dog and the “trifulau” or truffle hunter were so fun to watch, and as we saw the dog start digging furiously in the leaf-covered ground, our hearts were all beating with excitement. Surprisingly we found 3 little ones which were so fragrant, it made us wonder how fresh those ones actually were at the fair. In any case, even if we hadn’t found truffles, just walking in the yellow and orange woods with this kind man and his dog was all I would have needed to be happy and grateful. Well, since we DID have four truffles, we called up Claudio’s parents who brought up freshly laid eggs from the hen and paired it with a 2000 Barolo that I’d been waiting to open just for an occasion like this. Talk about eating local!

Too bad Claudio came down with the stomach flu and couldn’t eat them! Well, we left some in the fridge for Claudio later in the week. As a result, the whole house permeated with truffle smell and I even got to eat them twice in one week. I can officially say I am enjoying this new Langhe life!


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