ACQUALAGNA TRUFFLES

ACQUALAGNA TRUFFLES

Acqualagna

This modest, modern town lies near the entrance to the Furlo Gorge and hosts the annual National Truffle Fair (for details see events) in late Autumn. Apart from the nearby gorge and the splendid abbey of San Vincenzo, the shrine to the Madonna at the Sanctuary of Pelingo is much visited by devout pilgrims. Visit the town’s own web site here (currently only in Italian).

Italian truffle hunters dig up around 100 metric tonnes of truffles a year with the help of their ’57 variety’ dogs. In the Marches, Acqualagna, Sant’Agata Feltria and Sant’Angelo in Vado are the places to head for during the truffle season. See the entry for Sant’Angelo in Vado for details of truffle cultivation.

Although truffles are best eaten fresh within days of their discovery, there are plenty of products that try to preserve the experience. Best value are the small bottles of olive oil flavoured with truffles. Other good buys are truffle butter and tubes of truffle paste. The whole truffles preserved in glass jars are expensive and have had most of the stuffing knocked out of them in the process of conservation.Perhaps the oddest product are the chocolate “truffles” flavoured with real black truffle – bizarre put surprisingly good (they actually come from Norcia in neighbouring Umbria).To be avoided, unless you have a very perverse palate, are the liqueurs with a lump of truffle bobbing about inside the bottle.