|Every year the last Friday, Saturday and Sunday of February a
"truffle" fair devoted to black truffles is held in Italy (in the town
of Norcia, Umbria). This is the main truffle fair in Italy. Here one
can find everything related to them!
Local and larger-scale producers show all their newest and best
Norcia, a little Italian mountain town, knows what's what in
gastronomic pleasures. First, this town is famous for its special way
of pork salting: their proshutto competes with the Parma one, and
their sausages and spicy salami are considered best in Italy.
Except meat, Norcia is famous for Casteluzzio lentils. It is called
"the princess of lentils", and it loses its crown if grown far from
Casteluzzio (it is close to Norcia) or lower than 1,500 meters above
Crystal clear mountain air and low temperatures eliminate pests, so
farmers don't need to use any chemicals. There you can try luxurious
wines and the famous honey.
But the most attention is paid to truffles. These are mostly black
truffles that grow around Norcia; gourmets consider them tastier than
white truffles, they are delightful and very expensive. Truffles have
unique aroma - something in between mushrooms and spices. In Italian
recipes they are grated and sprinkled over taliatelle, fish or baked
meat. Their image is a very winter one.
Truffles only grow in the wild. Finding them is very difficult and
requires a lot of experience, this is why they are so expensive. To
find them one needs to wander around hills and forests with a
specially trained dog or pig, and it is important to stop the
assistant before it starts to dig the truffle out (they grow under the
ground), so that he it wouldn't banquet on the precious mushroom.
The truffle fair is held in one of the most beautiful and less visited
parts of Italy, and this is another reason to visit it.