So, I guess not many people in US are intimately familiar with truffles those exquisite, aromatic and very expensive mushrooms which can turn most simple dishes (think “macaroni and cheese”) into a real delicacy. If you wonder why are they so expensive, here is a very simple answer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ1nY51txoA
Perhaps the best country to experience and enjoy the variety of truffles’ incarnations (white and black, summer and winter) and applications (freshly shaved on pasta, used in various sauces, as flavor in oil or salt) is Italy. And among Italy’s various areas, Umbria is especially known – and praised – for variety of local dishes based on truffles. Just to let you know, the best time to enjoy truffles in Italy is September-November – the window of time when one can get fresh truffles. And so, I am off for “truffle hunting and enjoying” in Italy. Together with my brother (he will come from Moscow) we will “target” several local producers and small towns in Umbria and Lazio which have long-standing traditions of truffle industry. The ultimate destination will be the town of Campoli Appenino in Lazio. This weekend, local folks organize truffle festival: cooking classes, demonstrations and, of course, plenty of degustations of various dishes with truffles. But even without truffles, Campoli Appenino is very worth visiting. Perfectly preserved medieval hill-town which still not discovered by the tourists. It is built around giant caldera/carst dolina which is right in the middle of the town. A few years ago, five wild bears were brought there and “planted” on the bottom of caldera and so a “bear sanctuary” emerged right in the middle of the town. Check it out: http://atinaitaly.com/bears-campoli-appennino/
Weather permitting, we will also check out the wild Canyone of Vallone Lacerno – beautiful narrow valley with powerful stream of water: http://atinaitaly.com/canyon-vallone-lacerno-campoli-appennino-pescosolido/
But clearly, truffles will be our focus in Campoli and for a very good reason. Here: http://atinaitaly.com/truffles-tartufi-campoli-appennino/
Ok. I need to catch my plane from LAX to Rome. See you all tomorrow.