Italy – ‘White Truffles of Piedmont’

Italy – ‘White Truffles of Piedmont’
  • Italy - 'White Truffles of Piedmont'

    Italy -

‘White Truffles of Piedmont’
We travel to the Piedmont region of northern Italy to unearth the secrets of the white truffle.

It’s early October on the outskirts of the hilltop town of Montechiaro d’Asti. The sun has yet to illuminate the ploughed fields, russet-coloured hedgerows and wooded glades, but already the pre-dawn landscape is alive with the snuffle and bark of eager dogs. It’s the beginning of the truffle-hunting season and experienced truffle hunters Luigi Faletti and Guiseppe Tyrone are leading their keen-nosed hounds, Chico and Tom Cruise in search of tuber magnatum pico, the prized white truffle and one of the most expensive foods on earth costing around £3,000 per kilo. The white truffle grows almost exclusively in Italy and northern Croatia but it’s generally agreed that the world’s best come from Piedmont. Their unique flavour and aroma make them much sought after by chefs and food lovers, and their rarity value creates a lucrative industry for four months each year (approximately October to January) in the otherwise quiet backwater towns and villages of the region, particularly around Alba and Asti.

Story Length: 1,500 words
Available images: 21

Photography by Paul Marshall
Text by Andrew Marshall