In truffle season, all roads lead to Sunrise. We suggest to go also to the south of the Po, between Turin and Asti. Where our sent, next to the precious tuber, has found other autumn delights
The farm Park of Grep, to Monteu da Po, we organize walks and picnics, between the ancient towers and valleys.
Is the undisputed king of the tablets in the autumn. On risotto and poached eggs is the master: it only takes a dusting to make them into dishes for grand gourmet. Enhances meats and game, and galvanizes the vegetables. Rare, hard to find, is deal seekers, experts for cavarlo beat woods and hills for miles, crossing maps and meteorological data of the last few months. For this reason, the truffle ‘s prices are stellar, from the investment, according to the law of supply and demand. “This year the prices should not differ much from those reached in 2018: around 3 thousand euro per kilo for the white truffle, the most precious and rare, because it can not be cultivated, and about 300 euros per kilo for the black one,” explains Riccardo Germani, president of thenational Association of truffle hunters of the Italian, who explains: “The real issue is that for the Italian truffle there is no traceability”. That is: to be sure it is from a given area it is necessary to go on trust, turn to expert prospectors of the place, who then propose their treasures in the markets of the territory. “In particular, this fall collection should be good in north of Italy, the most poor in Molise and Basilicata, where it has not rained”.
Piedmont, route between the hills of the flavors
Who loves the truffle, its perfume and its rituals, knows that your Piedmont, thanks to the presence of woods and limestone soils, is one of the regions most generous for the growth of the fungus underground. The scent of the tuber just the top, below the moist earth, is so intoxicating that even closed up in a glass jar (as you should to keep) expanding. The area of the production potential of the white truffle, the Tuber magnatum Pico, is a semi-circle facing the west, from the city of Turin, reaches the Tortona region and turns toward the west, interrupted to the right of the river Tanaro. The hills of turin and asti in front of Chivasso, to the south of the Po, are among the areas most suitable for the collection of the precious tuber white: this is the territory chosen by Where to suggest an itinerary of the autumn, full of taste and tradition. From 8 to 10 November Rivalba, at the centre of this area of steep hills and forests, is home to the thirty-second edition of the national Show-market of white truffle. “Here there is also a training ground for the dogs”, reveals Luca Bannò, president of the association Trifole and Trifolè. “The 1,500 square metres of forest which cover these hills are the gym to the nose of our four-legged friends, which are indispensable for the collection of the tuber, which begins in October and ends in December”.
In piedmont, food and wine trail cycling and horse-riding
The journey of autumn to search for white truffles begins in the restaurant ), Celery, Cheerful, to Cinzano, where the owner Marina Bertolina offers original recipes: “Next to the noodles with the usual sprinkling of white truffles, a dish that is a must-have, we take the liberty to interpret the truffle, proposing sprinkled on fillet of veal and gorgonzola. Or make a cream and insaporiamo the jerusalem artichoke (the root, the edible, the plant Helianthus tuberosus), and the poached eggs”. Frequented by tourists, the place is a perfect stop for those who love the walks among woods and vineyards. An experience that can take guests of the b&b Il Quadrifoglio, on the edge of a forest in Sciolze. Waking up early in the morning, you may come across in the search for truffles local start hunting with their dogs; the b&b is also an estate and horse racing and organises horse-riding lessons, excursions on horseback.
Another restaurant offering local recipes based on white truffles restaurant is one of the 7 Hills, to Berzano di San Pietro. Says Andrea Agagliati: “We are a family of seekers: the presence of poplars, oaks and willows, but also of the wild hazelnut, which qualify our heights, it creates the undergrowth ideal for the development of the tuber. In the menu we offer the fruit of our research: in autumn the most precious is of course the white truffle, but during the year we also find the summer scorzone and, in the middle of winter, some white truffle”. It is also worth to take a trip in time to admire the abbey of Santa Maria di Vezzolano, about four kilometers from the restaurant. According to the legend, was built at the behest of the emperor Charlemagne in 773; in fact, the first documents which are subsequent to the Thousand, and the current plant dates back to the XIII-XIV century. Of relief, the jubé, the pier between the nave (typical of the cathedrals, churches, convents and collegiate), is virtually the sole, which shows traces of the plaster original, the color of lapis lazuli.
Piemonte, wine and food itinerary on the tracks of the Nebbiolo
It is time to make the acquaintance of the Albugnano doc, a wine from the Nebbiolo grape, which takes its name from the municipality of Albugnano, the epicenter of the production. In the farm of Franco and Cristina Carossa, Three Hills, has written the history of this red. “The documents that testify to the cultivation of Nebbiolo grapes from our family date back to 1803 and are proud to have been among the promoters ofthe regional Wine cellar of Albugnano, a project that will see the light of day in 2021,” says Franco Carossa. In the shop of the farm you also buy hazelnuts and pickled vegetables. Cà Mariuccia, two kilometers, is an agricultural company born with the method of joint construction. What explains the owner, Andrea Pirollo: “For the renovation of the building, we involved many volunteers in exchange for food and lodging, to whom has been given the opportunity to learn about the use of alternative materials natural together with the re-use of those recovery”.
The structure has three rooms and in the restaurant you can taste the dishes of the monferrato tradition. Pirollo is also the president of the association of Albugnano of 549: the number refers to the height above sea level of the country, from which you can see the hills of the Monferrato area of asti, a little bit in the distance, the basilica of Superga and a good part of the western alps. The association unites 13 producers of Albugnano doc, “because enhancing the image of this wine, ideal with the foods of autumn, will be the instrument for increasing the environmental awareness and enhance the interest of tourists to the territory,” says Pirollo. Among the countless climbs and descents on the hills, after about thirty kilometres, you get to Casalborgone. In the high country, an ancient stronghold, where the church of Santa Maria Maddalena watch the one dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is located the b&b comings and Goings, with the back overlooking the valley. The house, of the Fifteenth century, is a legacy of the family. Alberto Go has opened the reception together with his wife Francesca and War, which says: “This village was considered to be the crossroads between Asti and France. In addition to living in six rooms and to relax in the garden with a swimming pool, we offer personalized cooking classes”. Breakfast is served next to the fireplace, dominated by the huge rotisserie in the spring.
Piedmont, where to eat beef fillet, desserts and cheeses
For a “hunting” truffles, a less adventurous but equally rewarding, we head towards the Butcher, Bruno, Piero and Gian, where Bruno Favaro, along with two partners Piero Casalegno and Gianluigi Ioli, prepares the best cuts of beef fillet of piedmontese, typical of the Monferrato. Favaro practice the art of trifolè, the seeker of truffles: “In our shop, from October to December, are available from the white truffles that cable personally. In the summer we also prepare the truffle butter black, because in the warm months, you can find it more easily. The meat comes from small local farmers and customers reserve the best parts for the jokes to the knife or to the scallops, to enrich with truffles”. Coming out from the workshop may be invested by the perfume of sweet. Fabio and Alberto Basile, brothers, and economists provided to the bakery, they opened The Pastin: “we couldn’t afford to lose the tradition of biscuits of corn flour, that our great-aunts and uncles launched. So we challenge the rules of the market with mixes from ten kilograms to the maximum and with panettone, the long-rising”, to tell. Four and A half kilometers from here, the Trattoria della Villa, to San Sebastiano da Po, has a beautiful pergola lets you enjoy the panorama of the hills of turin and monferrato. In this historic restaurant, with tablecloths and large squares red and white that cover the tables, are served different menus every week: if it is available, it is worthwhile to order the cheese made locally, topped with slivers of truffle.
Parks, castles and nature reserves to visit in Piedmont
Another historic address in the area is the Castle of San Sebastiano Po, the origins of which date back to X century, now a b&b. Accompanied by Luca Garrone, the owner of the structure, together with the family, you can stroll among redwoods and cedars of Lebanon to the belvedere that offers a view in the direction of the Po, the canale Cavour and Alps, up to the Matterhorn and the Gran Paradiso. You sleep in the suite with furniture of the Nineteenth century, the floors of old terracotta tiles, wooden beamed ceilings and views of the greenery. While we head towards Castagneto Po should make a stop at the pastry shop of Fabrizio Galla. A student of Iginio Massari, the undisputed master of the art of Italian confectionery, has won in Lyon, in 2007, the world cup of pastry with the chocolate cake Jessica. In Castagneto there is the hamlet of San Genesio, with the same name, which in 2019 is celebrating the thousand years from the foundation.
Coming from the road or from the footpath that starts from the centre of the country, it was conquered by elegant double lancet windows and triple lancet windows of the tower. Just then a walk along the paths of the natural reserve Bosco del Vaj , to breathe in the scents of the autumn and, with a bit of luck, badgers and woodpeckers. Not far away is the restaurant San Genesio. Simone’s Hair, the owner, comes from a family of restaurateurs and has made the bones as a maître abroad. “After so much travel, on these hills, I feel at home, and I can put at the disposal of the territory in my experience. In particular, thanks to the cook, Ares Ferrara, I set a kitchen that is based on a vision gastronomy of the local cuisine. Recreating for example, a cheese fondue with truffle and a mousse of fontina dop cheese, the egg, so that and truffled mashed potatoes. We have experienced great results with the use of the tuber even in desserts, offering the creamy vanilla in the berry and white truffle”.
Piedmont, between agriculture and biological architecture
From the restaurant, take the provincial road of the Val Cerrina and, after about twenty minutes, you arrive at the Estate Cimena, a family-run farm family, which, from the Sixties, cultivated rice. Today are the three brothers, Joe, Susanna, and John Little to manage the estate, where crops are in accordance with the method of organic farming. Carnaroli rice, on sale in the shop along with other types (like the black rice and the red one) is the variety more suitable for cooking simple dishes with the truffles. The journey continues to Monteu da Po. You can visit the archaeological area of Industry, a roman colony was an important river port: once stood at the confluence of the Dora Baltea river with the river Po and from here passed the barges that carried to Rome the materials extracted in the mines of the Valle d’aosta.
To Monteu da Po, the cousins Francesco Otelli and Matteo Pasqualini they have redesigned the old holiday house of the family, surrounded by ten acres of green, transforming it into the farm Park of the Grep. Result? Today you sleep in the House in the woods, cottage in the wood among the trees, with a large cherry tree that sprouts from the terrace. Francesco, an architect, has recovered the open spaces and re-created the pathways along cerreta and in patches; Matthew is dedicated to the construction of the interior. “Here, you can spend a night in the green in an unconventional way and have a picnic while admiring views of the Po and the Reserve of the Circus, at the confluence of the Dora Baltea river, from the medieval towers of the Grep, which gives the name to the entire structure”, explained Matteo and Francesco. “In our woods, the truffle is with ease and it is a proposal which was fixed in the menu of the dinner”. The last stop is theabbey of the Holy Faith, in Cavagnolo, erected in the XII century. The two nuns that are at the forefront of, to show the visitor to the orto dei semplici (garden of medical herbs of medieval origin) and explain what connection there is between the phases of the moon and the development of the tuber: “The first quarter, to waxing, to mature the truffles”. Ancient wisdom, modern skill.