White truffle season is from October through December and simply grow wild, attached to the roots of oak, hazel, poplar and beech trees. They’ve tried to cultivate them, it can’t be done! It is a highly sought after flavoring by foodies worldwide that this autumn will be hard to find, even in Tuscany’s San Miniato, the white-truffle capital of the region. About a quarter of all Italian white truffles originate from the San Miniato area but there are truffles to be found all over various areas of Tuscany. Lower than average rainfall has made for truffles a real “treasure hunt” for apasionados!
The hunt for the “white treasure”, if not in the woods, can be at San Miniato’s Truffle Festival/Market this weekend and on the following two weekends (19/20 and 26/27) this November.
From 10am until 8pm, you get your chance to try everything imaginable with the delicate taste of truffles as well as buy all these tasty treats plus regional products. From white truffles to fresh cheeses to olives and sun-dried tomatoes to fresh means to wines, you’ll get a chance to taste and breathe the flavor of truffles along with the Tuscan products foodies dream of. In addition to the festival tents from which you can make a meal, restaurants in the town also abound offering affordable, truffle-laden menus.
The aroma of this underground fungus has been described as “disconcerting” and, like some flavors, the taste can be unimpressive by itself. But, when added to a plate of pasta, veal or even scrambled eggs, thin shavings of white truffle can transform a dish. Little is more – a good thing since the cost of the white truffle has shot up, doubling in less than a week for larger pieces (€2.500-3.000 per kilo). The increase is due to lower than average rainfall in the area as well as higher demand.
Given the popularity of the festival, you might have to reserve accommodations in San Miniato well in advance. But it’s proximity to Florence (less than an hour drive) also makes it a great destination as a day trip. San Miniato is also reacheable by train.
View the festival program on the San Miniato Promozione website.
About Lourdes Flores
An American living in Florence for over 10 years, Lourdes continues to explore and discover new places in Tuscany with the eyes of a tourist but with the experience of living in Italy. She shares her experiences on this blog and website, particularly offering lots of travel planning help on the Forum!