White truffles: punishingly expensive, its season lasts a precious few month, and some say it smells like sex.
But what is the real deal with this magical mushroom from the forests of Alba, Italy. Now that it is the heart of truffle season, I paid a visit to North America’s largest distributor of truffles, Urbani Truffles. There I met with Urbani Truffles’ Vittorio Giordano and asked him to spill all sorts of insider secrets revealed in this new video.
I asked Vittorio to try to describe the classic aromas of the white truffle, although such characteristics can vary with the truffle. You will learn how to tell good truffle from bad, the most delicious food pairings, the best wine matches, and why wines like Barolo are especially good with white truffles, beyond just their geography affinity. Finally, I asked Vittorio to approximate the retail value of the big, beautiful truffles in front of us – and his answer just might shock you.
In other truffle news, you can find a report on the 2020 white truffle season here.
And watch this light hearted “remix” music video I created about the joy of white truffles here. It uses footage of truffle adventures I have had in years past.
White Truffles in the Movies: The Truffle Hunters
And a hot tip for my fellow food and wine lovers: I saw an advanced screening of a heartwarming new film, “The Truffle Hunters”. With gorgeous, painterly cinematography, the film follows seasoned truffle hunters and their trusty dogs as they comb the woods of Northern Italy for the prized fungus.
It offers a fascinating look into a secretive and delightfully antiquated world. At one point there’s even a “dog cam” where you get to see what it looks like to stalk truffles from the dog’s point of view. It is set to open through Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S. on Dec. 25, though I suspect there will also be plenty of streaming opportunities around that time, too.
I just talked to Urbani Truffles’ Vittorio Giordano about the 2020 truffle season. Good news: the pandemic has kept prices from skyrocketing in what would have been an especially expensive season for white truffles. View the video report here.
To save your sanity, get yourself a bottle of Barolo (or Barbera d’Alba) and some thin pasta, butter, and a white truffle from Alba.
For some groovy, truffle-y escapism, check out this “Truffle Remix” music video I made a few years ago after a trip to Alba.
Some purists might scoff at truffle salt, but I’m confident that it would be a flavorful addition to your bunker. Similarly, people once scoffed at planting Cabernet Sauvignon instead of Nebbiolo grapes in Piedmont, Italy. Gaja proved it can be done with magnificent results. Featured wine: medium-bodied, blackberry-mint-leather Gaja Darmagi Langhe Cabernet Sauvignon 1982, the very first Cabernet from this legendary estate, literally a bottle of vinous history.✨
How to send you tastebuds on vacation ⛵️ to crabby bliss while never leaving your place? Use Goldbelly to ship in an iconic dish from across America, like I did with the plump, pure Chesapeake Bay crab cakes 🦀 from The Narrows Restaurant in Maryland. Then pair it with the perfect wine: the rich but clean, vanilla-citrus-pineapple Beringer Vineyards Chardonnay Private Reserve (Napa, $35) ✨. \
My first virtual wine event filled up to Zoom’s 100-seat capacity in 90 minutes, so I’m doing more: “Summertime Slayers ☀️” (plus Q&A) Wed., May 13th (8pm ET/5pm PT). Like before, expect this event to fill up fast 🐇, so please register at this link if you are interested.
Tickets are at the pandemic-friendly price of $15/each and if you choose to order the wines, they will ship fast and are in sufficient quantities at Wine.com.
For a full listing or my virtual wine events, click here.