Italy enjoys bumper truffle harvest

14th November, 2016
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