A truffle (tartufo) is a type of chocolate confectionery, traditionally made with a chocolate ganache center coated in chocolate or cocoa powder… no, no, no… this is not the kind of truffle I want to talk about!
Truffles are delicious fungi with a pungent smell that grow underground.
Pigs or dogs are used to find them since there’s nothing over the surface that indicate their presence.
Acqualagna, just 5 minutes drive from Valle Nuova, is the biggest trading market in Italy for truffles even if Alba, in Southern Piedmont, is much better known.
There are many different species of truffle and Northern Le Marche, specially the area around Acqualagna, is the only area in Italy where truffles can be found and collected year-round.
The species that can be collected in Acqualagna area are the following (along with collecting seasons). They are listed from the best “Tuber Magnatum Pico” down to the “Scorzone” that in my opinion should be avoided since you risk being charged a lot of money and being served Scorzone (that is hard and pretty tasteless) + artificial aroma.
Tartufo bianco (Tuber Magnatum Pico from October 1st to December 31st)
Tartufo nero pregiato (Tuber Melanosporum from December 1st to March 15th)
Tartufo bianchetto o ‘marzuolo’ (Tuber Borchii Vitt or Tuber Albidum Pico from January 15th to April 30th)
Tartufo nero estivo o ‘scorzone’ (Tuber Aestivum Vitt. from May 1st to December 31st)
There are three truffle fairs in Acqualagna:
Tartufo nero pregiato fair: Sunday before the last of February
Tartufo Scorzone: First weekend of August
Fiera Nazionale del Tartufo Bianco: 3 weekends between the end of October and the beginning of November.
During the month of October, every weekend, Sant’Angelo in Vado hosts a white truffle fair and an expo and market of truffle hunting dogs.
In October we organize truffle hunting walks with our neighbour Giovanni and his dogs, we’ll also be glad to suggest the best place to buy some truffle to bring home and to buy some fresh truffle and prepare it for you!