TRAVEL

Sniffing Out Alba's Truffle Festival

This first appeared in Travel + Leisure's Carry On Blog on Friday, October 31st, 2014.

15 seconds were all Gianpiero, me and Daisy, the lightning quick Lagotto Romagnolo truffle hunting dog needed as we hunted for those special tubers + Neffa/La Mia Signorina #albatruffle

A video posted by Erica Firpo (@ericafirpo) on Oct 10, 2014 at 2:46pm PDT

Even more precious than the Tuber Magnatum is the dog on the scent of a truffle. In Roddi, Italy, an area just a few miles away from Alba's Truffle Fair, Daisy (a Lagotto Romagnolo) shows off how quickly she can find the precious tuber. Daisy, like her canine colleagues, has been trained since puppydom to love and search out truffles. To the gastro-world, she's a superhero—in the daytime, an average dog sharing a bit of love with the family, but once the night is dark and the moon is high, Daisy's on the search of buried treasure, sniffing out Alba's deep-rooted white truffles.

Tajarin (a kind of tagliatelle) with white truffle. This pretty much sums up a typical late October day in Alba - and then a fonduta, some eggs and gelato...all with white truffle. As much as I love @langheroero area in Piemonte, I am stuffed!

A photo posted by Erica Firpo (@ericafirpo) on Oct 10, 2014 at 1:38pm PDT

 

10.31.14 Sniffing Out Alba's Truffle Festival By Erica Firpo Food + Drink, Events + Festivals Comments

Even more precious than the Tuber Magnatum is the dog on the scent of a truffle. In Roddi, Italy, an area just a few miles away from Alba's Truffle Fair, Daisy (a Lagotto Romagnolo) shows off how quickly she can find the precious tuber.

Daisy, like her canine colleagues, has been trained since puppydom to love and search out truffles. To the gastro-world, she's a superhero—in the daytime, an average dog sharing a bit of love with the family, but once the night is dark and the moon is high, Daisy's on the search of buried treasure, sniffing out Alba's deep-rooted white truffles.

Thanks to heavy rains in Italy this year, dogs like Daisy have had more than enough work as truffles are having a bumper season. Prices are an average 200 euro/gram, compared to 350 euro/gram in 2013 (and 500 euro/gram in 2012), which means from now through November 16, you'll have more than one way to eat a truffle.

In Alba, a typical dish is tajarin col tartuffo-taglierini (thin, linguini-like pasta) with shaved truffle, though a simple fried egg with shaved truffle will do, or the truffle "sandwich" of shaved truffle and anchovies, a tartufaio (truffle hunter) favorite.