Truffles are precious, rare, delicious! Truffle hunting is an old tradition of Umbria, one of the regions producing the highest number of black truffles in Italy. Truffle in Umbria is also known as “the King of the Table” or the ‘Black Diamond of the Kitchen’ since it is a real specialty and fetches a high price.
The biggest food event in Umbria, the Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Nero Pregiato e dei Prodotti Tipici di Norcia is approaching and will take place for three weekends, starting from February 21st 2020, in the centre of Norcia. From the 50’s, this event, well known on a national and international level, has been promoting typical, local food and wine. The undiscussed King of the event is, of course, Truffle, the most famous food product of Norcia and Valnerina.
Are you curious and do you wish to know more about this refined and rare product of Umbria? We will help you.
The word truffle derives from territùfru, a sort of vulgarization of the Latin term terrae tufer. Truffle was already known in ancient Greece and in Roman times. The Greek philosopher Plutarch of Cheronea (I century AD) believed that this tuber was born from a mixture of water, heat, and lightning. The Roman poet Juvenal wrote that the “tuber terrae” originated from a thunderbolt hurled by Jupiter near an oak, a shrub sacred to him. This myth gives the truffle the characteristic of an aphrodisiac product, given the prodigious sexual activity of the king of Olympus. This ancient legend does not differ from scientific reality, as lightning is attracted by trees rich in water like oak, the shrub where truffles proliferate. The gastronomic use of truffles is known since ancient times, from the Babylonians to the Egyptians, from the ancient Greeks who called it Hydnon (hence idnology, the science that studies truffles) to the Romans. For some scholars, this tuber, thanks to its aroma, represented a sort of “fifth essence”, causing a state of ecstasy which delighted the sense of smell and palate. Truffle grows underground, attached to the roots of trees. To find them, Truffle hunter traditionally used pigs to find them. The pig’s natural instinct for rooting behavior helped the hunters to find the fungi. But now, pigs can’t be used anymore, because they ruin too much the terrain. Now the truffle hunter uses well-trained dogs.
Meravigliosa Umbria proposes an amazing adventure, truffle hunting on the hills of Umbria, with real truffle dogs, tastings and lunch included. Info and details at the following link: Day tour truffle hunting & wine-tasting