The Italian city of San Miniato is often referred to as the “City of White Truffles”. Every November, a traditional holiday dedicated to these wonderful mushrooms is held here – White truffle festival… It runs on Saturdays and Sundays throughout November, starting on the second Saturday of the month, attracting gourmets from all over the world.
But in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, festival events may be canceled.
White truffles are the pride of Italy, and white truffles from this area are called the “King of Food” (Tuber Magnatum Pico), they are considered the most valuable mushrooms. It was here that the world’s largest white truffle was found, weighing 2,5 kg.
Local mushrooms are famous not only for their size, but also for their quality. White truffles from San Miniato are served in the best restaurants in the world. They are much less common and have a much deeper smell than black truffles from France, and are considered tastier than French ones, and their price sometimes exceeds two thousand euros per kilogram. Brillat Savarin wrote: “Truffles make women more tender and men more loving.”
The picking season for these mushrooms in Italy is November. The white truffle is short-lived; it grows on the roots of trees and begins to fade as soon as it is taken out of the ground. Even under the most ideal conditions, it can retain its taste for only 10 days. Therefore, true gourmets come to the festival and look forward to the appearance of fresh mushrooms in local restaurants. Moreover, it is during this period that you can buy or try them at reduced prices. By the way, white truffles are very often eaten raw, pre-cut into thin slices. But there are also many dishes made from these wonderful mushrooms.
In San Miniato, they prepare for the annual festival with great care: they organize numerous tastings and master classes, where they explain how to choose and prepare truffles, and also arrange a truffle auction, at which anyone can become the owner of their favorite mushroom by paying a substantial sum. Or maybe he himself will “hunt” for truffles under the guidance of an experienced “triphalau” (truffle hunter).
White truffle is not only a unique taste, but also one of the main elements of local business and culture. The White Truffle Festival turns the city into a huge open-air fair for almost a month, where you can not only buy your favorite delicacy, but also taste the local cuisine using these famous mushrooms – risottos, pasta, sauces, butter, creams, fondue …
As part of the holiday, you can taste and buy not only truffles, but also the best Italian wines, snails, cheeses and olive oil. Also during the days of the festival, various theatrical performances, costume performances and music shows are held on the streets of the city.