Tag Archives: Truffles

7 things I learned about truffle hunting in Italy


First of all, I thought I have the best job in the world…I thought that until a few weeks ago that is…

I had an opportunity to go truffle hunting with a certified guide and his wonder truffle dog, Tito. In the name of research, I had to go for my workshop attendees. Let’s get it straight: my job doesn’t suck, however here’s why I think in another life, I will be a truffle hunter. Full disclosure: truffles are one of my favorite things on the planet, and it’s no wonder that hunting for them proved to me why they are so incredible as an ingredient.

I met Simone and Tito at a designated location, and then we headed off into the mountains for my first ever truffle hunting experience. You may remember I went to a truffle festival in Alba, in the Piedmont a couple years ago. But this, my friends, was truly a bucket list moment for me.

Okay back to Simone and Tito. Tito is a truffle dog, so of course I had a million questions for Simone about how one trains a truffle dog. The breed has been bred specifically for this purpose: to sniff out the yummy goodness of the truffle buried beneath the forest floor. It’s called the Lagotto Romagnolo; that’s a mouth full. Tito was in the back of the car crated and quiet. We drove up the mountain with my never ending questions about training Tito. Simone was very patient in explaining that one must spend many many many hours training these dogs. First you feed the puppies truffles, so they get a sniff and a taste for them (see even the dogs think they are yummy). Then hand signals, treats and even getting on your hands and knees to show them how to gently dig, so as not to break the truffle. Foraging the woods is a team effort. These 2 make the perfect team as I found out after 3 hours of foraging in the beautiful countryside. It was exciting and zen all at the same time. Hence my epiphany that I should have been a truffle hunter. Walking in nature endlessly looking for these hidden treasures was something that was heavenly to me. I learned a lot about truffles and hunting in these 3 hours spent with the ultimate hunting team.

What I learned about truffles:

  1. There are 7 types of truffles that one can legally hunt in Italy.
  2. Hunting for truffles is a year round activity (I thought it was only fall but no, Simone and Tito hunt all year).
  3. Moisture has much to do with the harvest, and rain is a very important factor in the quantity of truffles annually. The more rain, the more truffles.
  4. Hunting with dogs is far superior to pigs as dogs are more delicate and hunt with their paws, and pigs dig up truffles with their snouts often breaking the truffles.
  5. Truffles can be found all over the forest floors, not just the roots of trees.
  6. White truffles are harder to find and much more delicate to extract from the earth than black truffles
  7. There’s actually a school where guides can go to learn to guide truffle hunts

Needless to say, we had to eat truffles for lunch and the perfect place was right up the road. My tortellone with ricotta and egg sprinkled with black truffles was divine. The perfect end to a cool day hunting what I love with a great guide and a spectacular dog, Tito, who won my heart.


If you’re interested in hunting truffles, you will have an opportunity at our upcoming workshop in 2018 as this will become a staple of the offerings for our free day.

All hail Tito, too! Now I want a truffle dog. xx


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Traveling in Italy in October? Start planning in September!


It’s September, and I always get about two or three emails about traveling to Italy in the fall. Most of you will be hitting the usual suspects like Rome, Milan, Venice and Florence, and those destinations are great.

Honestly, when I get questions about those cities, it’s kind of a no brainer; there are so many sites and great restaurants, not to mention the internet and social media can certainly fill you in.

As for me…I like the off the beaten path things; things that Italians like to do…and I like TRUFFLES. If you’re not a fan of truffles or wine then stop reading this right now.

If you’re like me, and are a HUGE fan of truffles, red wine, red meat, cheese, pasta, olive oil, and sheep…keep reading.


Last year, I checked Truffle Festival in the Piedmont region of Italy off my bucket list. It’s held in the town of Alba. The truth is that there are truffle festivals all over Italy in the fall, but this one is huge and filled with truffles, and everything truffle like potato chips and cheese. It made my head spin and made me smile from ear to ear…for hours.

If you’re heading to Italy this fall, I highly recommend you make the journey and eat truffles on top of fried eggs which is the traditional way it’s done in the Piedmont. The whole city is perfumed with the stuff.


You’re welcome. You can read last year’s original post here


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The Truffle Festival in Alba

Truffles in Alba Truffles in Alba

My bucket list is not long. I have had many adventures and feel like I have ticked off most things on it. But the Truffle Festival in Alba, Italy was yet to be checked off. When I realized I would be in Italy at the same time as the festival, you better believe I was going to make my way 2.5 hours from our house and wind my way through the scenic Piedmont region to finally make it to the land of truffles.

With my partner in crime in tow, my dear friend Susan, we loaded ourselves into my tiny Fiat 500, and I made our way up up up the mountains and vineyards to the city of Alba.

Truffles in Alba

The Festival is, well, a real festival held in an events venue filled with like-minded truffle lovers. Once we found the venue hidden behind two very large wooden doors, the perfumed air hit us like a ton of bricks.

Truffles in Alba

White truffles are the holy grail, and this festival featured all sizes and shapes. Truffles, fresh and dried, stuffed in risotto rice, cheese, pasta, and oil, even potato chips—every configuration you can imagine. Of course with Truffles there must be wine. After all, we were in one of the most famous wine regions of Italy. We tasted wine, sampled cheese, and had a lovely pasta with Ragu accompanied by a robust Barolo.

Truffles in Alba
For a foodie like myself, it was pretty much a heavenly afternoon. We stuffed ourselves and bought truffles and truffle products, and stopped to buy some wine at a local co-op.

Truffles in Alba

We made our way back to the seaside pretty much satisfied with one more thing ticked off the bucket list. If you are in the area in October, I highly recommend you stop and smell the truffles.

Stayed tuned for Italian House hunting adventures in the next few weeks…ciao xx

Photo credit: Me

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