During the autumn months in PIEDMONT, in the LANGHE AND MONFERRATO hills near the town of ALBA, mysterious individuals are roaming the woods at night, accompanied by dogs of uncertain species and flashlights. They ramble through FORESTS, VINEYARDS, along the edges of FIELDS, and the edges of DITCHES. Look carefully, and you can see that they are more than just wandering-they are searching. For what? They are searching for BURIED DIAMONDS. Diamonds that you can eat.
TUBER MAGNATUM PICO-better known as “TARTUFO BIANCO D’ALBA”-is a mushroom that is born, lives and dies underground. It grows from six inches to several feet beneath the earth, under oak, poplar and beech trees. Because it doesn’t have any roots of its own, it gets all the nutrients that it needs from the roots of the trees under which it grows. This white truffle is found during a short period of time from the beginning of October to the end of December. In order to grow, it needs a very particular climatic condition-the soil must be soft and moist most of the year, it must be rich with calcium, and it must have good air circulation. In other words, theseTREASURES need the perfect microclimate to flourish.
In 350 B.C., TEOFRASTO DI ERESO, disciple of Greek philosopher ARISTOTLE wrote that “they are born fromAUTUMN rains and from VIOLENT thunders,” already noticing the sense of mystery surrounding the growth and discovery of this delicacy. Throughout much of culinary history, the TARTUFO BIANCO has held a peculiar place. During the Medieval period in Italy, for example, the sale or trade of WHITE TRUFFLE was forbidden because its rumored aphrodisiac qualities were considered diabolic…..
No doubt about it, the TARTUFO BIANCO D’ALBAis a classic of Italian gastronomy. It adds a magic touch to the dishes it graces. To the eye, it appears as a cream-colored potato, but the appearance is irrelevant-the real miracle is its AROMA. So intense and inebriating that it escapes every attempt at description.The scent of a WHITE TRUFFLE, once experienced, will never be forgotten. This is why people are roaming the woods at night, in the dark, around the town of ALBA.