Truffle auction, festival and market in Alba
|France is known for its black truffles, but they seem pale compared to
white truffles (Tuber Magnatum Pico) of Alba. The most famous cooks
from around the world arrive to this little Piemonte town to the
annual Truffle Festival.
This year the Festival will take place from September 23 to November
Selling for no less than 2,400 dollars a kilogram, these exotic white
tubers have an irrevocable reputation in the world culinary community.
The Festival includes auction (entrance with invitation only), truffle
market and fair. One should also try snails from nearby Cherasco and
famous Piemonte Barolo wines.
At the auction, which opens at 8 a.m., famous chief cooks often spend
as much as 700-1500 dollars for these white mushrooms, the look of
which reminds of cauliflower. The sellers are mostly local farmers who
can significantly improve their situation during truffle harvest
season, which continues for about 5 weeks.
Famous companies are also represented here.
Truffle markets where one can buy white truffles and several foods
made of them, work on weekends from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the time
of the Festival. The fair provides the opportunity to get familiar
with other specialties of Piemonte cuisine as well.
It is said that "white diamonds", as white truffles are sometimes
called, make "women more tender and men - more affectionate". Their
unforgettable taste adds exquisiteness to omelettes, fresh pasta or
risotto. And there also exists Piemonte butter sauce, and fonduta -
Piemonte analogue of Swiss fondue, and truffle oil, and truffle cream
and even rice..
Besides, there is a lot of various happenings in the context of the
Festival - Chocolate holiday il Cioccolato, Wine holiday, costume
parades, Palio horse races, elections of Truffle Queen, theater
performances, exhibitions and pyro-musical show.