The Autumn season in Italy is a foodie delight. Embracing the freshly harvested seasonal fruits, nuts, vegetables, olive oil, wine and other delights tantalizes the senses.
The warm feeling from a bag of roasted chestnuts cupped in your pocket. The air is filled with deliciously aromas and freshly olive pressing can linger for miles. I learned and tasted the art of farm to table olive oil and many farms offer tastings. The harvest festivals’ joyful bounty cheers and laughs is pleasant to hear and this time of year, the cooler weather around the Italian countryside has vividly colorful foliage,
Experiencing this lively season in Italy is a nice memory for me.
The exciting sport of tartufo (truffle) hunting is one of the main Autumn food attractions. For me, the world of tartufi is complexing. Perigord and other black winter tartufi to juxtapose a white with a black tartufo is fun to taste and learn without intimidation.
Tartufo dogs vary in breed and the handler & dog relationship is impressive to watch them work in tandem. The duo expertly seek out patches and carefully dig underground along the tree roots for edible fungi .
Tartufi, tartufi, and more tartufi! If the sport is not your thing, an experience in shopping for tartufo butter, tartufo oil, tartufo cheese, etc..., at the local markets, festivals, and produce trucks are conspicuously parked for convenience. We experienced a guided white tartufo hunt and wine tasting in Piedmont and a guided black tartufo hunt with lunch in Veneto.
The black tartufo hunt In Veneto was located up in the mountain with panoramic views, followed by lunch at Trattoria all'Angelo, prepared by Executive Chef Mauro Canaglia and Bari Jean Canaglia. The couple is wonderful and the experience delivered fun times hunting for black tartufi and a hands-on cooking class with our bounty of black gold treasure.
As part of the hands-on cooking class, we actually helped the chef in the kitchen. My task was to wash the tartufi as the chef gave me info to quickly decipher the difference between a good and bad tartufi. I soon found myself sipping an Italian sparkling wine and whistling while I worked.
Black Truffle Menu:
The sport of white truffle hunting and a wine tasting around Barlo countryside was a different experience, yet, equally exciting.
When we were in Barolo two years ago in 2018, this area did not have a decent white truffle season because of the climate, therefore, less supply. Yes, don’t forget the heavily tourist crowds coming in to take part in the annual Alba White Truffle Convention. The overhyped white truffles can be overly expensive; in consequence, low supply and high demand may lead to a bit shadiness and counterfeit truffles may be imported. With the situation in mind, we were satisfied with hunting for the black truffles.
After the hunt, it was a colorful scenic drive to the Josetta Saffirio Winery to indulge in a terrific wine tasting. After absorbing the wealth of information and fine wine, we sat back to digest the experience over a cup of coffee.
Hopefully one day I can return to enjoy another Italian Autumn season.
The Delong 100 Grape Varietal Challenge encourages all wine enjoyers to expand their wine drinking horizon by seeking out unusual grape varieties. These past few years, I have tasted over 180 grape varieties. After all, there are over thousands of grape varieties world wide. With so many wine grapes, styles of wine, and wineries to explore, wine is an educational adventure. So grab your virtual passport and come along with me on a Grape EdVenture™ around the world.
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