Every year in Alba between October and November is held the World Market of the White Truffle of Alba, the most expensive quality of truffle. And The Italian Eye took part in order to grasp all its secrets.
ALBA AND THE WHITE TRUFFLE
The love story between Italy and the truffle has been handed down even from the first century AD when its properties were studied for the first time by Pliny the Elder. Initially it was thought that this precious fungus had aphrodisiac powers and grew from water, heat and lightning. Today the truffle is one of the most precious foods and Italy is the first producer and exporter of all the species used in gastronomy.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE
Sold as if it was gold, the Alba white truffle is a fungus that only a dog can find from the 21st September to the 31st January. It is consumed fresh and it can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of one week, wrapped in absorbent paper and closed inside a glass container. The white truffle should be cleaned with a brush under cold water and dried carefully. It can be served after about ten minutes. Serve it sliced into very thin slices, using the appropriate slicer.
WHERE TO TASTE THE WHITE TRUFFLE OF ALBA
Most of the addresses on this list are restaurants that also have the possibility to accommodate our guests.
La Ciau del Tornavento
Piazza Baracco 7, Treiso (Cuneo) – tel. +39 0173 638333
This temple of taste, directed by Maurilio Garola and Nadia Benech, serves truly unforgettable hits and wins without a doubt our Best Choice. The first choice ingredients, the winning and never predictable combinations, such as sea bass with foie gras, and the wonderful hospitality of the staff make it a magical place. The spectacular wine cellar built in volcanic rock of the hill offers 60,000 bottles for a total of 1,800 labels from around the world. Since 2002 every year this restaurant wins the award for “Best wine list” by Wine Spectator. Don’t miss the egg with white Alba truffle served in a box of rice and the dumplings injected with fresh ricotta. There is also the chance to sleep in the four rooms on the upper floors of the restaurant.
Piazza Risorgimento 4, Alba (Cuneo) – tel. +39 0173 366167
Thanks to the chef Enrico Crippa from Monza, Piazza Duomo joins the elite of Italian restaurants. Opened in 2005, it is one of only eight restaurants in Italy to have three Michelin stars and surely its cuisine is something indescribable. Excellent and local ingredients (all the vegetables come from their garden in the area of Barolo DOCG). Always different culinary experiments and a young and talented sommelier (editor’s note: Vincenzo Donatiello, awarded in 2004 “Best Italian Sommelier Junior”) make the rest. The restaurant also offers four hotel rooms in the city center to enjoy the Alba Truffle Market without moving an inch.
L’inedito Vigin Mudest
Via Vernazza 11, Alba (Cuneo) – tel. +39 0173 441701
Former historic restaurant in the city, L’inedito Vigin Mudest has recently reopened under new management. Located in the center of Alba, offering traditional dishes, such as the excellent braised in Barolo, and plates designed specifically to celebrate the white truffle. Despite the heavy competition and the high quality of the restaurants in the area, this place still manages to overcome the confrontation. The service is excellent and you can also eat outside in the typical little square.
Locanda del Pilone
Frazione Como 34, Alba (Cuneo) – tel. +39 0173 366616
Restaurant and hotel, Locanda del Pilone has a Michelin star thanks to the Japanese chef Masayuki Kondo, who has always loved the kitchen of the “Bel Paese”. His proposals, elaborated but excellent, combine typical ingredients with truffle. Like the nutty tagliolini, the rabbit “Grey Carmagnola”, Castelmagno and white Alba truffle. The wine list offers more than 1,200 Italian and international labels. In addition to their own wines “La brunella” and “Cascina Bompè”, open for guided tours and tastings.
Relais Villa d’Amelia
Località Manera 1, Benevello (Cuneo) – tel. +39 0173 529225
This relais, with beautiful views on the rolling hills of Piedmont, boasts a restaurant with a Michelin star. Entrusted to the chef Damiano Nigro, a rising star in the scenario of Italian gastronomy. The dishes are inspired by regional tradition and the scents of the sea in the nearby Liguria, in addition to proposals with white truffle. The search for raw materials of the highest quality, from small local producers, complete the picture of this fantastic restaurant.
Antica Corona Reale da Renzo
Via Fossano 13, Cervere (Cuneo) – te. +39 0172 474132
Awarded with two Michelin stars, this restaurant was founded in 1815 and since then it transmits its guests an incredible gastronomic heritage. The current management, headed by Gian Piero Vivalda, harmoniously blends ingredients of Piedmont cuisine and Cuneo. Such as the mushrooms Val Pesio, Pasture Cheeses and “Helyx Pomatia” snails with delicacies from outside the region. Like the Ligurian Gulf red shrimp, the mullet roe and Colonnata lard.
Attached to the Roero Regional Winery, the restaurant is run by chef David Palluda since 1995 and was awarded a Michelin star. Its gastronomic tribute to the Langhe and Liguria and its dishes are a clear example. In fact they maintain the culinary traditions of both regions. Like the pigeon in a crust of black truffle or fish served with mashed potatoes and sea urchins.
HOW TO GET TO ALBA
The nearest airports:
Cuneo Levaldigi 50 km
Turin Caselle 90 km
Genoa 150 km
Milan Malpensa 180 km