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Viridiana's chef Abraham García just returned from Alba on Tuesday with some kilos of white truffles in his luggage. The best of them were selling at 3500€/kg. Exceptional quality, if you ask me.

Yesterday I sampled them some gnocchi with cream and white truffles and risotto with seta de cardo (Pleurotus eryngii) and white truffles. Sold at 4€/gr.

He also had some black truffles, which told me were neither túber aestivium or túber melanospórum. So, I'm wondering what they are...

PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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I just returned from Alba this past Tuesday, although I am no expert on truffles (I just love to eat them), I was told (by truffle gatherers, restauranters, stefano at Gaja) the this year is shaping up to be fair and that it is still a bit to early for the finest truffles. I will post some picture of my trip and the Alba truffle festival this weekend..

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I just returned from Alba this past Tuesday, although I am no expert on truffles (I just love to eat them), I was told (by truffle gatherers, restauranters, stefano at Gaja) the this year is shaping up to be fair and that it is still a bit to early for the finest truffles. I will post some picture of my trip and the Alba truffle festival this weekend..

This is the word here. The first ones are just showing up. I had some at Trattoria della Posta last week (Euro 15 a portion) that were just fair. Reports from Alba say better than last year, but not a great year.

...it looks to be a pretty good to excellent year for wine, so that does not fare well for white truffles.

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I have been waiting also. My boss and his brothers went to Alba (their mother's birthplace) in 2001 and were there for the festival. He brought back several for me, bought the day they left, and they were wonderful. Apparently that was a good year but not as good as 1998.(I think that was the year he mentioned people were comparing to.)

Last year I ordered online from a shipper whose site is no longer active, one day express, left Italy 1:00 a.m. Pacific time and were delivered at 2: p.m. Pacific time. I thought it was excellent service and would like to find them again. Vittorio del Ponte is the name on the box I saved... Search turns up nothing except references to a bridge in Florence.

If anyone can recommend a good supplier, please do so.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Robert kindly sent me some info he got directly from the people at Alba Tartufi in Italy. I just translated the message and made a little digest of the not too good news:

Tuber Aestivum Vitt., Summer Black truffle

This product is, at the moment, practically inexistent on the market. Small quantities might be available but no guarantee can be made.

Tuber Magnatum Pico, White Truffle from Alba

The amount of the truffles collected and their size has been disappointing , even considering the low expectations of the local experts. For truffles of approx. 20-25 grams the price is 2500 Euro pro Kilo, with 100 g as minimum order. The above truffle size is smaller than what usually offered by this company, a measure necessary to contain the growing prices. Clearly other sizes are available and quotes are available contacting info@albatartufi.com .

The message also contains the program of the 50a FIERA DEL TARTUFO DI MONCALVO (AT), taking place on these three dates 24/10 (already passed), 31/10 and 6/11. On the first two dates a truffle market, typical products stands and eno-gastronomic offers will be available.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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I read an article that said it would be good:

article

Isabella Ginanicolo, for the National Centre for Truffle Research, based in Alba, the centre of the Langhe region, said: "This year is so much better than last, when prices were absolutely astronomical. It is going to be a good year."

I am off to Italy on Wednesday so I have my fingers crossed.

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here in Florence we also have quite a large truffle production from San Miniato and from San Giovanni D'asso near Siena.

I have had truffles twice now.. can't help using them in class, it is such a fun product to use.

We made potato gnocchi and grated fresh white truffles into butter,melted it in a pan over hot water, drained the gnocchi into the butter and added a tiny bit of the cooking water..and some grated 4 year old Parmigiano RISERVA from BONAT..

Simply Fabulous..

I am not good at slicing the truffles and use my microplaner instead!

The truffles are nutty..earthy and I paid about 50 Euros today for a walnut sized one.. there were 8 of us for lunch.. so as a per person cost.. not bad..

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I was in Alba on Monday and spoke with Alessandro Bonino from Tartufi Morra, one of the best and most reliable sources. He had plenty of truffles but was worried that last year's dry weather might mean that the quantity later in the season might be down. Prices vary according to each individual truffle and depending on size, aroma, shape (too irregular means difficult to clean and thus wastage) and of course supply and demand. As of Monday, an average price was around 2800 euros per kilo but Alessandro was hoping that it would go down in November. There seems to be a feeling locally that if prices increase much more than they all might be at risk of killing the oca that lays the golden uovo and that tartufi d'Alba will simply not be affordable to any but the super-rich (who might not necessarily appreciate them anyway). In the zone, a generous grating of white truffles over tajarin or even a little bit over a typical dish such as roasted red peppers bathed in pungent bagna caôda is still a quite affordable treat, at home or in simple trattorie and osterie alike: a very little of this overwhelming rarity does indeed go a long way.

Here is a photo of some real beauts. The whopper on the left weighed 410g, which is an exceptional size.

tartufilamorra1-500.jpg

There were many smaller than this, with a good walnut size truffle at say 25 or 30g a more than worthwhile purchase for a really special family dinner. Here are some good examples:

tartufismall500.jpg

Incidentally, at this time of year, the trifolau (truffle hunters) set up stalls up and down the Via Maestra, the main drag of Alba, or hang out on Saturdays in the communal market, pulling handkerchiefs out of their pockets furtively to show you their wares. The most important factor in buying a truffle, says Alessandro, is the intensity of the aroma.

Robert, what has been your experience so far this year with tartufi bianchi?

Marc

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I just got back from Rome where I had them twice. Both times were of good quality. I asked the provenance at one place and they said they were from Tuscany/ Umbria. I know some people are rude about Tuscan truffles ('they are just potatoes'), but these seemed excellent to me,

Retail price was 3.5 k per kg in the centre which is expensive. (A couple of years ago it used to be 1.5 to 2K) but I think the hike in price is probably permanent,

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Coming out of lurker status, I figured I'd post some pictures of the truffles I recently had in Alba. First time experience and inspired by all of you...thanks.

The shavings were more than the actual meal itself...

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/10992750..._1099307316.jpg

But oh, so yummy...

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/10992750..._1099307261.jpg

The big one was 2700 euro. I understand the rarity of these, but still can't get over the price!

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/10992750..._1099307417.jpg

A great lunch.

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Coming out of lurker status, I figured I'd post some pictures of the truffles I recently had in Alba.  First time experience and inspired by all of you...thanks.

The shavings were more than the actual meal itself...

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/10992750..._1099307316.jpg

But oh, so yummy...

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/10992750..._1099307261.jpg

The big one was 2700 euro.  I understand the rarity of these, but still can't get over the price!

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/10992750..._1099307417.jpg

A great lunch.

A_Broad,

nice to see you leaving the lurkers club :smile: to join the discussion here on eGullet, and thanks for the nice pictures. Happy to know we managed to inspire you to try truffles... just hope you don't hold us equally responsible for any damages your bank account might have suffered because of this :biggrin:

I was wondering how big that 2700 Euro truffle was: any clue?

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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I zoomed in on my picture and it looks like 480 grams. This was just a regular table set up on the packed street during the festival. I am no expert on this "bank breaker" and have no clue what quality it was. I just know that we had to walk around a lot before we drove home because we were absolutely stuffed. Ah, the pleasures of a Sunday lunch in Italy!

I also went to Salone del Gusto for one day and a sponsored dinner in Saluzzo the following night. I don't have any pictures, but will post the menu if anyone is interested in that type of thing.

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I also went to Salone del Gusto for one day and a sponsored dinner in Saluzzo the following night.  I don't have any pictures, but will post the menu if anyone is interested in that type of thing.

We'd love to hear about it, and with it any comment you'd like to make about the event.

There's a special Salone del Gusto thread for the purpose.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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A. Broad, where did you dine in Saluzzo? I never ate there, but I love the town. It's one of my most favorite in Piemonte. Thanks for the photos.

Marco, I can tell you something about my truffle experiences at the end of the month. The Sultan of Dining and I (six of us in total) are booked at Trattoria della Posta, Cesare, and Renzo plus an Italian restaurant in Lugano that is the highest-rated in Switzerland according to one guide book. That one should be interesting. Tell us about the Salone. We need coverage!!!

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A. Broad, where did you dine in Saluzzo? I never ate there, but I love the town. It's one of my most favorite in Piemonte. Thanks for the photos.

Ristorante L’Ostu dij Baloss. Yes, Saluzzo is a really great town and I'm glad we planned dinner there because I'm not sure if we would've gone otherwise.

I posted the menu on Salone Coverage and will add more about the Salone, but I was only there for about five hours and probably drank for two of it! Of course it was amazing and I'll write up something about the different things we tried.

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Some more news from the people at Alba Tartufi (thanks to robert):

"November has come and the awaited decrease in sale prices has not been observed. This is mainly because of the low amounts of truffle available. At the moment the price remains stationary (for truffles of approx. 20-25 grams the price is 2500 Euro pro Kilo, with 100 g as minimum order). We hope in an increase in product quantities in the next weeks but the chances for this are low. On a qualitative level, truffles are now in the best phase of their aromatic development."

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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From La Repubblica web site some truffle related trivia (hope the link will keep working once the news disappear from the website, NOTE: link updated).

Tonight the International Truffle Auction of Grinzane Cavour sold a one kilo truffle for the record price of 41000 US dollars (starting bid 19k). The buyer is a 89 year old Italo-american restaurant owner, Max Giambelli. During the evening French star chef Alain Ducassse was nominated ambassador of Alba truffles in the world.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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