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Link to 2:  Back again in beautiful weather on 18 November 2007


Link to original page on the 2002 San Giovanni d'Asso Truffle Festival



Sunday 11 November - Paradox's friend Sean Caufield - the guy whose website you go to to book the best Tuscany Villas, kindly organized a day out at the San Giovanni d'Asso Truffle Festival.  San Giovanni d'Asso is in South Tuscany, to the east of Buonconvento and near the Abbey of Monte Oliveto .


Mid-morning, a small group gathered in the oak woods near the little town  to witness a truffle hunt.  On the right the hunter girls Toppina and Spina get their aromatic bearings for the event.  Below, an impressively fast piece of digging destroys a mouse hole but does not reveal a golden tuber.


Italians train dogs for truffle hunting, and each hunter is allowed to use one or at most two dogs.  It is said (reliably) that truffle aroma mimics the dominant sex hormone of the male pig, which is why lady pigs make good hunters also - except they relish eating the hormonic treasure when they dig it up.  It is also hard to cart lady hunter pigs around in the back of a Fiat Uno.




Links to all Paradoxplace Italian White Truffle Festival Pages from San Giovanni, San Miniato and Alba (Piemonte)



Simply the Best Meals - photographic memories of eating well in Italy, Spain and France






Meantime the other team is having more success .... and in a market where every gram clocks up 4 to 6 Euros, even a piccolo find is a good one ....







After just over an hour the girls had found 3 truffles worth in total some 600 Euro retail - not a bad hour's work!





Time for a truffle lunch in the Castello on the hill  .....







Risottino Mantecato al Tartufo Bianco delle Crete Senese



The restaurant is Ristorante del Castello - Tel: +39 0577 802939 - book if you want a table on the terrace above


There is - of course - a full set of course by course photos, but let's just say the food was as good as it sounds, and press on with the day ....






Sean's guest Graeme Robertson, Chief Photographer for The Guardian newspaper and on a Tartufo assignment in Tuscany, interviews one of the hunters, who has reluctantly agreed to emerge from the Associazione office with a few thousand Euros' worth of white truffles - Sean is the interpreter and Adriano, having no useful role to play, wanders off down the road and discovers La Bottega della Crete ......


Look at Graeme's video









who do an excellent drop of Vino Rosso d'Orcia, enjoyed here with instant new friends Antonio and Giuseppe .........





which could very easily have slid into another bottle or two - had not the rest of the group, tiring of the limited number of questions you can usefully ask truffle hunters, been ready to go .......



we returned the next week - click here for more ...... 




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