In October, the white truffle harvesting season starts again.
In Umbria from the last Sunday in September, and in the rest of the country by the first of October. Harvesting will last throughout the fruiting period until December 31, in some regions until late January.
The white or Trifola truffle is the most prized and sought-after of all truffle types; it grows only in Italy, Istria and Slovenia and is known worldwide as "the white of Alba."
It actually breeds in many regions of Italy and besides Piedmont is found along the Apennines in Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Marche, Umbria, Abruzzo and Molise. It grows from the plains up to 600 m altitude in soft, moist soils rich in calcium.
Its scientific name is "Tuber Magnatum Pico" the etymology comes from the fact that it is intended for magnates, the great lords of the table, Pico, on the other hand, is the name of the doctor from Turin who first described its characteristics in 1788.
Characteristics of the White Truffle
It resembles the shape and color of the yellow potato. It is the truffle that can reach the largest size: from the size of a walnut to that of an orange. It is characterized by a smooth, ochre-yellow or olive-yellow peridium (outer rind); the gleba (pulp), in mature specimens, is grayish-white and turns to ochre-yellow or hazelnut, with very fine veins.
Unlike the black truffle, which can be cultivated, the white truffle grows and reproduces only spontaneously, and in addition, the production period is very short.
These two factors, combined with the extraordinary flavor and fragrance of the white truffle make it cost more.
Where to Collect the White Truffle in Umbria
An excellent variety of white truffle grows in Umbria , mainly in the calcareous territories of the Upper Tiber Valley (Città di Castello, Umbertide, Pietralunga, Montone, Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, Citerna, San Giustino, Gubbio, Scheggia, Pascelupo, Costacciaro) and in the territories of the Orvietano (Baschi, Castel Giorgio, Castel Viscardo, Allerona, Ficulle, Parrano, Montegabbione, Monteleone d'Orvieto, Fabro).
How to Store White Truffle
The aroma of the white truffle is penetrating but pleasant, with a hint of garlic, and is fully enjoyed when eaten raw, cut with the special truffle slicer into very thin slices. We recommend consuming it fresh, as any freezing or drying negatively affects the fragrance of the fresh truffle. It is possible to store it fresh in the refrigerator, wrapped in paper towels, in an airtight container and consume it within 3-4 days of purchase.
The White Truffle in Cooking
Among the many traditional Umbrian dishes, one cannot forget the white truffle tagliatelle typical of the Upper Tiber Valley.
Follow our recipe Tagliatelle with White Truffle from the Upper Tiber Valley.
Alba White Truffle Fairs
In October, the International Fair of the White Truffle of Alba is held as it is every year.The fair, which reaches its 90th edition in 2020, is one of the main showcases of high gastronomy of Italian excellence. The fair has great international significance, so much so that one in four visitors is from abroad. The fair is held on weekends between the first half of October and the second half of December.