Nero Norcia 2017: Umbrian Black Truffles

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View of Norcia, Umbria

The Umbrian town of Norcia sits at the foot of the Monte Sibillini in the Valnerina River Valley. It’s about 45 minutes east of the famous music festival town Spoleto and near the Umbrian border with the Lazio and Le Marche regions. An ancient settlement, Norcia has found traces of human occupation from the Neolithic Age (approximately 10,000 BC – 2,000 BC). It’s a great base for hiking mountains and walking through the beautiful natural scenery of the Santa Scolastica plain.

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Piazza San Benedetto in Norcia;   Left: Palazzo Communale;   Right Church of San Benedetto

The shade of trees in the forests nearby harbor these fragrant and expensive mushrooms. Used raw or cooked they are often tossed with rice or pasta. Norcia’s foodie highlights are more than just it’s truffle production; the famous Norcinos (butchers) and their salumerie shops are not to be missed for further tastebud exploration.

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Nearby Castellucio di Norcia

#neronorcia #eventiumbria #umbria #italyfestivals #norcia

INFORMATION

2017 Nero Norcia Information

Umbria Tourism

@umbriatourism

Umbria Tourism on Facebook

ABOUT

Lisa M. Vogele is the author of Food & Folklore: A Year of Italian Festivals, a travel reference guide that “helps you go local” by incorporating festivals into your travel planning. The second book in her Food & Folklore Series on Festivals of Spain will hit the shelves in 2017. You can find out more information about Lisa’s books, custom itineraries and small group tours at Lisa’s Travel Guides.    BROCHURE: Fun with Food & Festivals Tours!

 PHOTO CREDITS:
VIEW OF NORCIA FROM FIELD:   LAVALNERINA.IT VIA FOTER.COM / CC BY
BLACK TRUFFLE:   MOEDERMENS VIA FOTER.COM / CC BY
EGG WITH SHAVED TRUFFLE:   NOCIVEGLIA VIA FOTER.COM / CC BY
TAGLIATELLE AL TARTUFO NERO:   UMBRIALOVERS VIA FOTER.COM / CC BY-SA
PIAZZA SAN BENEDETTO:   STEVECADMAN VIA FOTER.COM / CC BY-SA
CASTELLUCIO DI NORCIA:   PHOTO CREDIT: MOYAN_BRENN VIA FOTER.COM / CC BY
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NERO NORCIA: Black Truffles in Umbria

19074571468_2735452c5f_b (2)
View of Norcia, Umbria

The Umbrian town of Norcia sits at the foot of the Monte Sibillini in the Valnerina River Valley. It’s about 45 minutes east of the famous music festival town Spoleto and near the Umbrian border with the Lazio and Le Marche regions. An ancient settlement, Norcia has found traces of human occupation from the Neolithic Age (approximately 10,000 BC – 2,000 BC). It’s a great base for hiking mountains and walking through the beautiful natural scenery of the Santa Scolastica plain.

 

Piazza San Benedetto has been the center of the town since the middle ages and includes the historic Palazzo Communale (14th century) and church of San Benedetto (Middle Ages). It serves as the base of operations for the 53rd Nero Norcia celebration of winter black truffles that began this morning and continues this weekend and next. Aside from the usual festival treats of food stands, music and children’s activities there’s a magician, photography exhibit and speakers about truffle production in the area. Tasting tours via horse drawn carriages, are organized by dairy company Gruppo Grifo both Sundays and include local chocolate and dairy products (purchase tickets at their festival stand).

19069942688_22dcce0407_b (2)
Piazza San Benedetto in Norcia;   Left: Palazzo Communale;   Right Church of San Benedetto

The shade of trees in the forests nearby harbor these fragrant and expensive mushrooms. Used raw or cooked they are often tossed with rice or pasta. Norcia’s foodie highlights are more than just it’s truffle production; the famous Norcinos (butchers) and their salumerie shops are not to be missed for further tastebud exploration.

5626285087_410ac16afb_b (2)
Nearby Castellucio di Norcia

#neronorcia #eventiumbria #umbria #italyfestivals #norcia

53rd Nero Norcia Information

Umbria Tourism

@umbriatourism

Umbria Tourism on Facebook

Photo Credits:
View of Norcia from Field:   LaValnerina.it via Foter.com / CC BY
Black Truffle:   moedermens via Foter.com / CC BY
Egg with Shaved Truffle:   nociveglia via Foter.com / CC BY
Tagliatelle al Tartufo Nero:   UmbriaLovers via Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Piazza San Benedetto:   stevecadman via Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Castellucio di Norcia:   Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn via Foter.com / CC BY

 

 

Four Weekends of Fun: Truffles in the Heart of Tuscany

Tagliatelle with Truffles
Tagliatelle Pasta with Shaved Truffles; [Photo credit: jit bag / Foter.com / CC BY]

This is the second of four weekends of fun in San Miniato. During the “45th Mostra Mercato Nazionale Del Tartufo Bianco Di San Miniato”, you can sample food designed to highlight this expensive fungus. Shaved over pasta, infused in oil, truffled pecorino cheese, truffle tapenade; the variety of truffle products and dishes available practically ensures there’s a truffle in your future.

These precious white truffles command quite a price; approximately $1,200 per pound! They pack a punch of flavor in every bite and it doesn’t take much to flavor a dish. In addition to the restaurants and street food showcasing these tubers, there are cooking demonstrations, a market and parades (consult the program at the link below for schedule and locations).

San Miniato Buildings
San Miniato Buildings
[Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/comunicati/8229802350/”>Michela Simoncini</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>CC BY</a>]

Even if you aren’t a fan of these fabulous fungi, the drive to San Miniato is a scenic treat and convenient to other places you might like to visit. Sitting atop three hilltops of Tuscan fall splendor, San Miniato traces its origins back to the Paleolithic area. The Romans knew it as Quarto and has a strategic location at the crossroads of important trade routes: Pisa to the West, Florence to the East, Lucca to the North and Siena to the South. The FONDAZIONE SAN MINIATO PROMOZIONE has produced and excellent brochure outlining the various attractions and highlights of San Miniato; a link is included below.

San Miniato Area Landscape
View of San Miniato Area Landscape
[Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/33725200@N00/5422357559/”>anniejay</a&gt; / <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>CC BY-SA</a>]

 

San Miniato Information

45th San Miniato Truffle Fair Brochure

San Miniato Brochure

Truffles are in the Air! The 85th Alba International White Truffle Fair

Piemonte Region of Italy; Photo credit: Irene Grassi (sun sand & sea) / Foter / CC BY-SA
Piemonte Region of Italy; Photo credit: Irene Grassi (sun sand & sea) / Foter / CC BY-SA

Truffles and wine are gems of the Piemonte region of Italy. From the end of September thru mid-November events are held in Alba to honor the White version of these prized tubers. This festival is in its 85th year and is jam-packed with events. If you’re looking for an experience combining food, wine and folklore, you will not be disappointed.

White Truffle Risotto - Risotto al Tartufo Bianco Photo credit: Giorgio Montersino / Foter / CC BY-SA
White Truffle Risotto – Risotto al Tartufo Bianco Photo credit: Giorgio Montersino / Foter / CC BY-SA

Alba is in the area of the Piemonte known as the Langhe; displays at the festival boast not only the excellent truffles and wine but the cheeses, egg pastas and sweets common to this area. During the festival there is a truffle market at Cortile della Maddalena each weekend where you can smell and buy truffles from reputable vendors. The truffles are hunted by dogs who smell and scratch just under the surface to alert their handlers to their find. Truffles are not cheap and are used in a variety of ways in the kitchen.

Paglio degli Asini 2015; Photo credit: Giorgio Montersino / Foter / CC BY-SA
Palio degli Asini 2015; Photo credit: Giorgio Montersino / Foter / CC BY-SA

The Alba International Truffle Fair is as entertaining as it is tasty. Food and folklore events are scheduled each weekend to fill your belly and your spirit. The folklore events started September 26th with The Investiture of Podesta; participants in medieval costumes re-enacting tributes to the Lady of Alba and the Podesta (magistrate who governs the city). On October 4th the medieval theme continued with a donkey palio, the “Palio degli Asini”, run by the 9 districts of Alba in a traditional mock of Asti’s horse palio. This weekend each district will transport you back to medieval times with games and re-enactments staged throughout.

Borgo San Lorenzo - Alba; Photo credit: Irene Grassi (sun sand & sea) / Foter / CC BY-SA
Borgo San Lorenzo – Alba; Photo credit: Irene Grassi (sun sand & sea) / Foter / CC BY-SA

The highlight of the weekend is the “Baccanale del Tartufo”; each district uses the truffle theme to develop a delicious menu unique to them. Review the menu and pick which of the 9 districts whets your tastebuds and partake in a truffle themed dinner (the menu is posted below). To learn about the other events and tastings offered this weekend and though mid-November at the festival click on the link below and select “Calendar”. Mangia bene!

Event Website: Fiera del Tartufo 2015

Menu Il Baccanale del Tartufo: http://www.fieradeltartufo.org/cgibin/2015/1444555045B_depliant-borgo-si-rievoca_2015_081015.pdf

White Truffle - Tartufo Bianco; Photo credit: Blue moon in her eyes / Foter / CC BY
White Truffle – Tartufo Bianco; Photo credit: Blue moon in her eyes / Foter / CC BY