October is the annual ‘tartufo bianco’ top Italian fall culinary truffle festival. Visiting a truffle fair is a must for foodies from all over the world.
It origins from 1928. What makes this festival and actually truffles so desirable?! These musky, aromatic members of the mushroom family, irregular and knobby in shape, have been prized for their aphrodisiac and medicinal qualities, and as a delicacy. Truffles have been known to fetch upwards of several thousand dollars a pound and are best consumed raw within three days of harvesting. Truffles grow slowly about a foot underground and in symbiosis with host trees (either oak or hazelnut), so you can’t find them with the naked eye. They often require years to reach full maturity and their harvesting necessitates the assistance of pigs (historically) and dogs, more recently, who sniff out the best ones.
Going to a truffle fair is worthwhile even if you don’t want to buy truffles. The scent of fresh truffles fills the air and there are locally made truffle dishes to try and the price is much less than you’d pay in a restaurant. There’s also always entertainment and concession stands sell local foods such as cheese, salami, honey, and wine. So it is a fantastic way to taste local foods on any taste right from the hands of the farmers and artisans who produce it.
Alba ( province of Cuneo, in Piedmont), San Giovanni d’Asso (province of Siena, Tuscany), San Miniato (province of Florence, Tuscany), Aqualagna (province of Pesaro, in the Marches), Bobbio ( province of Piacenza in Emilia), Calestano ( province of Parma, in Emilia), Savigno ( province of Bologna, in Romagna) – a small list you might be able to attend for sure.