Monday, April 16, 2012

Food Festival & Truffles in CITTA DELLA PIEVE

In between 2 conferences we are running, we returned to our village, Citta Della Pieve in Umbria, for 24hrs over the Easter period and were delighted to see a lovely food festival in progress. Many produce suppliers from near and far, had set up stands to sell their salamis, cheese, porchetta, wine and other delicious food products - one of my favourite type of festivals! We were thrilled to see one of the stands was a Truffle supplier who among truffle infused products such as pasta, rice and salsa, also sold fresh truffles - these little odd shaped nuggets are "Brutto ma Bouno" (ugly but beautiful). Fresh truffles are very expensive to purchase in Australia and must be used within a few days, but this stand sold the Black Truffle for a very reasonable price - in fact a little handful for only €6. We also bought a special truffle slicer so we are able to grate delicious thin slices of fresh truffle over our fresh pasta - hard to get much better than that! 

We chatted to Pamela who sold the truffles and she was telling us that these days they use especially trained dogs to source them as previously when they used pigs in this role, once found, the pigs often ate the truffle nugget before the handler could pull them away - defeating the whole process really! I am very keen to join the truffle hunter and his dog on their quest to sniff out these little nuggets of gold at the base of oak trees - it is one of those experiences one would not be able to encounter in too many places, so I am working on being able to join the hunt - will keep you posted on that.

The ugly but beautiful nuggets of fresh truffle for sale 
Pamela and her truffle stall in our village Easter fair

The leg of Porchetta behind the glass is traditional Tuscan food and particularly good when served hot