Most of the Italian precious production arrives from four areas in Piedmont, Marche, Tuscany, and Umbria
There are several varieties of truffles and some are more coveted than others. However, all of them can be used both as a basis for the realization of precious products – such as oils, sauces, dry flavored pasta, and preserves – and as an ingredient to enrich recipes and culinary preparations. Italy is internationally renown as the home of the valuable tuber. Not only for the quantity and quality of its harvest but also because, thanks to the country’s rich biodiversity, all the most appreciated varieties grow there. These are associated with specific geographical areas.
Alba is the undisputed white truffle capital of the world. Around the small town in the heart of the Langhe, the woods offer the perfect environment for the famous Tuber Magnatum Pico, commonly known as the ‘superior white truffle’. It is the most sought-after tuber and, in 2019, its prices ranged between 250 and 380 euros per 100 grams. Every year, the Piedmontese town is the scene of the International Truffle Fair of Alba. The 90th edition of the event is currently taking place and it will continue until December 8th.
Italy is internationally renown as the home of the truffles. Not only for the quantity and quality of its harvest but also because, thanks to the country’s rich biodiversity, all the most appreciated varieties grow there
In Acqualagna, in the province of Pesaro-Urbino, there are woods where is possible to find the four most precious species of truffle. These are the Tuber Magnatum Pico, the Tuber Melanosporum Vittadini – known as the ‘superior black’ -, Tuber Albidum Pico – the ‘Marzuolo’ -, the Tuber Aestivum Vittadini – also ‘Scorzone’. Indeed, two-thirds of the total Italian production comes from this area. The small town is also home to numerous events dedicated to truffles: National White Truffle Fair (between October and November); the Regional Fair of the Black Precious Truffle (February); and the Regional Fair of the Black Summer Truffle (July).
Norcia, in the province of Perugia, is not only famous for its IGP Prosciutto, but also for its production of three varieties of black truffle. One is the Tuber Melanosporum Vittadini; picked between December and March, its smallest specimens are about 20 grams, while the larger ones can reach the kilo. The other two are the Tuber Brumale Vittadini – commonly referred to as ‘winter black truffle’ – and the Tuber Aestivum Vittadini. The latter, on top of being called ‘Scorzone’, is also known as ‘summer black truffle’ because its ripening period is from May to October.
The Tuscan homeland of the Tuber Magnatum Pico is in San Miniato, in the province of Pisa. Here, the tuber is the protagonist of the White Truffle National Exhibition Market of the San Miniato Hills. Other significant events are the White Truffle Market Fair in the hamlet of Corazzano (October), the T Balconevisi ruffle Festival (October), and the Marzuolo Truffle Exhibition Market in Cigoli (March). San Miniato holds the record of the largest truffle ever found: a specimen of 2.52 kg, donated in 1954 to the former President of the United States of America Harry Truman.
Ilona Catani Scarlett