Celebrating The Truffle In Piedmont
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Tags: Alba Castagnole Monferrato Italy Piedmont White truffles
The region of Piedmont, Italy, has visual treasures and idyllic locales to share with those who choose to visit. Surrounded by magnificent mountains, it shares borders with France and Switzerland, and is home to incredibly romantic Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta. The Po River, whose tributaries wind like serpentine turquoise threads through this beautiful region, creates breathtaking scenery and a rich, fertile landscape, which produces some of the finest wines in the world. And, of course, we must not forget the prime Truffles. The rare White Truffle thrives in this region, and Piedmont, its beautiful large cities and small villages alike, know how to honor their truffles…. So when the season peaks in October and November…..
Prepare to celebrate all things Truffle! Festivals, Flea Markets and “Truffle Fairs” are just a few examples of some of the most popular events held annually in the Piedmont area in October and November. We have chosen a sampling of some of the best.
The Village of Castagnole Monferrato hosts the charmingly named “Grandfather Vintage and Truffles Sale”, showcasing numerous antiques and the best truffles.
The City of Turin hosts a major antiques show October 23 to 31st: “Antiques At Venaria” with hundreds of different exhibitors showcasing incredible Italian antiquities, including choice pieces from prestigious galleries, and experts on-site to explain the history of the pieces.
Turin also famously celebrates the “Salone Del Gusto” (Hall of Taste) Food Fair October 24 to 28th, which attracts over 100,000 visitors and is steadily becoming more popular. The focus of the fair is “Slow Food”, quickly becoming a popular trend with environmentally conscious consumers. Founder Carlo Petrini from Italy inspired this term and this movement, which “links the pleasure of food with a commitment to the community and the environment”. If your tastes fall more to the oenephile in you, there are also approximately 2,500 wines available for tasting at about $1.00 to $3.00 per glass, with 24 countries participating. An excellent opportunity to find some new favorite wines. (P.S., The magnificent espresso is free!!)
The small town of Mombercelli celebrates “Truffle Day”, typically in the third week of October. In the morning, the charming Piazza Alfieri is bustling when the “Trifolao” (the Truffle Hunter) brings his treasures to the market. Traditional dishes are prepared for the day and the delicious offerings are set out under a tent in the Piazza Unione Europea. The Via Bogliolo Hall hosts the very delightful but very rich “Truffle Breakfast”. Throughout the afternoon, live music is played in the area market for all to enjoy.
The small town of Moncalvo holds their own version of the Truffle Festival on the second and third Sundays of the month in October. To add some fun, a golden trophy is the coveted award for the owner of the heaviest truffle!
The city of Alba celebrates their precious White Truffle with a Gourmet Food Fair every weekend from October 1st to November 7 in Palazzo Tartufo. Sample a vast, delicious assortment of delicacies, made with and without truffles. Local producers gather eagerly to present their gourmet cheese, candy (nougat, anyone?) pasta, salami, artisan breads, gelato and many other delicacies. The Wine Pavilion showcases the world famous wines of Piedmont, and is one of the most popular venues, as of course is the “Truffle Hunter Stand” the choicest truffles offered for sale by the Truffle Hunters themselves. Whose will be judged the very best for the highest quality, the biggest or the most beautiful? You will have to go to find out!
Alba also celebrates their Roman & Medieval history during this same period. There are various parades and re-enactments of medieval historical events, with full costume. It all culminates with the Palio of the Donkeys (Donkeys dressed up in traditional costumes on parade), a famous and deeply loved Italian tradition. Seems like Piedmont is the place to be in October!