Autumn excellence: the Alba white truffle
Il The Alba white truffle is a variety of white truffle well-known all over the world due to its unique quality and flavor. The autumn season yields many satisfying food and wine delights in Piedmonte, and the truffle represents one of its most prized delicacies.
It is the forests of the Langhe that give life to this product that is as appreciated on the market as it is sought after. The harvest takes place just as it did in the past, without the aid of any machinery, but solely with the help of specially trained dogs. To this day, it remains one of the few activities that is still done manuallyand has remained unchanged throughout history. The Alba white truffle is delicate, so harvesting it must also be done with care and attention.
What makes the Alba white truffle so unique are the intense flavor and strong aroma it exudes once it reaches full maturity. Its outer coloration varies from pale yellow to ochre, while the inner part, called the gleba, is pink, white and brown in color, with white veins. Since no techniques exist to enable its cultivation, the Alba white truffle remains one of the most prized food products on the market, so much so that it has earned the name Diamond of Cuisine.
September marks the start of the Alba white truffle harvest. A seasonality that allows the product to express its full potential without overexploiting the environment and nature. This truffle only grows from the roots of specific plantsproduction areas are those of the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato.
Alba is where most of the production,takes place, and each year it is the site of the famous International Alba white Truffle Fair. The event attracts buyers and curious people from all over the world willing to bid at auctions for the best specimens of truffles. Each year, a committee of experts meets to regulate its sales, ensuring the perfect quality and authenticity of the product. Markets selling local products, cooking classes, and a variety of activities animate the Alba White Truffle Fair, with the aim of raising awareness of the local area and its raw materials.
Unlike other types of truffles that can also be added while cooking, it is consumed raw. It goes perfectly with risotto, raw meat or eggs. A signature dish of the local tradition is tajarin (Piedmontese egg pasta) with Alba white truffle. Cleaning it is very important, which must be done by removing the soil with a special brush and running it under water quickly before letting it dry for a few minutes. The Alba white truffle should be stored carefully so as not to alter its organoleptic properties. It is advisable to wrap it in paper towels before storing it in a glass jar. It should then be kept in the refrigerator at a temperature of no less than 3 degrees for up to a week.