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italy truffle harvest

Steady rain across Italy has lead to the country enjoying a
bumper harvest of truffles this year – one of the country’s finest delicacies.

White truffles are often associated with gourmet and fine
dining, but the fact that they are so plentiful this year means that they have
become cheaper and more accessible to the general public. While previously you
could buy 52 grams for 100 euros, you can now purchase 72 for the same amount.
Although part of their expense comes from the fact that they are relatively
scarce (with this year being an exception), as well as the fact that they are only
available for a short period each year, another factor is the fact that each
and every truffle has to be foraged rather than farmed. Truffle hunters are
therefore well-paid to take their highly-trained dogs to sniff out the spots
rich in truffles. These locations often remain highly guarded secrets.

The white truffles have also become available even earlier
this year. Typically the truffle season falls between November and January,
however this year they were ready as early as September. They can be found
growing around hazel, oak, poplar and beech trees, measuring up to 12cm in
diameter and 500g in weight, though they are normally much smaller.

As soon as they become available, they are a staple on any
Italian menu. Using the luxurious ingredient in classic dishes such as risotto
and beef carpaccio alongside numerous pasta dishes is a must for many
restaurants across Italy; a trend that is spreading to here in the UK as well.
Jose Graziosi, head chef of Hotel Endsleigh in Devon, said: “As it is time for the truffles, it has to be on
the menu no matter what the price.” Francesco Mazzei, chef patron of
Sartoria in Mayfair, added: “It is an
indulgent thing that brings Italian food to the very highest level and the
season is quite short.”

If you’re looking for
a truly authentic experience when dining on luxurious truffles, you simply have
to try them in a real Italian restaurant. Visit our website to book your dream
Italian villa holiday today and you’ll be on your way to experiencing Italy’s
food, culture, architecture, natural beauty and more.

Image: Mortazavifar, available under Creative Commons

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