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.
Behold, the world’s first truffle music video. White truffles – the exotic, expensive delicacy from Alba, Italy – are finally getting the MTV treatment they deserve. Join along as I offer an unforgettable homage to this knobby wonder of the mushroom world.
THE JOY OF TRUFFLES
The truffles music video was shot on location in various corners of Italy’s Piedmont region, which is tucked in the northwestern corner of Italy. Piedmont is a gastronomic goldmine, known for such dishes as the olive oil-based anchovy and garlic fondue called bagna cauda, the raw meat of carne cruda, and the thin, ribbon-like pasta called tajarin and its cousin tagliatelle. The last are the traditional vehicles for the tartufo bianco d’Alba – or white truffle of Alba – shaved vigorously on top these simple, buttered egg noodles.
Included in the video is scenes from a recent truffle hunt in a forest near the village of Barolo, as well as inside the 87th International Truffle Fair Alba and the annual International Truffle Auction.
At the auction recently, I witnessed a trio of white truffles, a total of 480 grams of the knobby mushroom perched on a velvet red pillow, be purchased by Hong Kong mogul Eugene Fung for the eye-popping sum of $87,000. Proceeds benefit a local hospital in Italy.
A TOUGH SEASON
Suffering from an unseasonably dry and hot summer and early fall, Italy’s Piedmont region has endured one of the worst seasons for white truffles on record. Prices for the coveted delicacy have accordingly doubled to at least 6000 euro per kilogram, placing it out the reach of many restauranteurs and diners. Undaunted, Mr. Fung bid from Hong Kong via satellite link, dogfighting with other bidders for about eight minutes and ultimately emerging the winner of the enormous cluster of white gold.
If he chooses to enjoy his white truffle as it is traditionally done, he will be shaving the funky, earth fungus raw over buttered noodles or scrambled eggs, the customary vehicles for what many consider the world’s greatest culinary delicacy. So great, that is, that is not has its own truffle music video.