White truffles, from alba and beyond
White truffles are the most coveted truffle variety. In recent years, prices for Italian white truffles, the jewel in the crown of the country’s rich gastronomy, have reached over 2,000 euros per pound, though last year saw a notable reduction. Alba truffles sit high on the list of the sought after, as their territory of origin is the heart of this incredible delicacy.
The white Tartufo bianco pregiato, or Trifola, is common in the southern part of the Piemonte region, including Alba (home of the oldest dedicated fair and auction), Langhe, Roero and Monferrato. The Central Apennines (Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Marche and Umbria), and parts of the province of Siena are famous for this specialty, too.
The season for Italian white truffles begins in September/October and stretches to the end of December. They are smooth compared to their black counterparts, and yellow-ochre in color. The interior has yellowish-white marbling with red-brown shades that vary in accordance with maturation. These gradations are also influenced by the type of soil, and trees it entered into symbiosis with. The important characteristics, however, are aroma and flavor. This white tuber will take you on a flight of fantasy with accented notes of fermented cheese and garlic, completed by a slightly spicy finish.