Truffle hunts happen very early in the morning around 4:30/5am, when it's still dark which is why truffle dogs are usually white or have some white spots. Truffle hunters have their favorite places where they try to go back every year, keeping them as secret as possible to avoid their potential truffles to be found by other trifulau - hunters or association members.
We arrived on the truffle ground fairly late and participated into a truffle hunt simulation with Rocky, our trifulau's truffle dog. Rocky is 6 and his nose is exceptionally refined as he can smell truffles literally 100 meters/yards away. However, he has a weakness: dog cookies!!
In Piedmont the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato districts are the richest areas of white truffles in Italy and truffle hunters make their business especially during the fair.
White truffles are like mushrooms they born spontaneously from truffle spores, they require a humid environment and a soft soil rich in calcium, for this reason they usually grow and develop near the vineyards, in woods of poplars, oaks and willows. and these are all conditions that can easily be found in Piedmont!
|"drunk" cheese aged in the must|
|Polenta with truffles|
The interesting thing about this fair is that you can buy all sorts of foods and ingredients made with truffles (oils, sauces, spreads), foods (pasta, cheeses) to pair with truffles, wines of the area and in the center of the fair some truffle judges are available to quote or evaluate the truffles on sales.
|Piedmont wines: Moscato, Arneis, Rosato, Grignolino, Dolcetto|
|honey and butter with truffles|
|Castelmagno cheese cream|
This is a real one kind of event with unique local products you can't even find in other regions of Italy. Alba is a picturesque little town surrounded by medieval hamlet and wineries.
This is a real heaven for both foodies and wine lovers, so keep it in mind when you hop over to Italy!