The Abruzzo Truffle, the black diamond to love from now to forever
1. Origin and production area
Knowledge and appreciation of the precious tuber goes back a long way. The earliest evidence is found in the early 19th century, with the mention in Luigi Marra's book, Del Tartufo, of Niccolò Vicentini’s writings.
The latter, in 1828, boasted of its aroma and preservative properties, extolling the liqueur made from truffles cut into pieces and left to soak in strictly cold water, as heat deteriorates their quality and delicacy.
The various uses and transformations of the original product were then described, presented in cheese, when crushed and put into boiling milk, or cooked under ashes, sliced raw and served in salads, or seasoned with oil, garlic and anchovies, and finally dried.
Whether cultivated or spontaneous, the truffle is widespread throughout the Abruzzo region, with various species (there are 28) depending on the different environments, soil and climate characteristics and tree varieties. Regional production alone accounts for 40 per cent of the total national production.
2. The truffle in the kitchen
As a refined ingredient, truffles enrich Abruzzo's first courses, from risotto to fettuccine.
The fine black is also perfect for stews and game.
The whitebait, strong and spicy, is ideal for seasoning fish and for preparing broths and soups.
The fine white should be eaten raw to be best appreciated, cut into thin slivers and distributed on plates sparingly.
Then taste the truffle liqueurs and cheeses: interesting and above all tasty.
3. How to search for truffles
We conclude with an interesting fact. Perhaps not everyone knows that in the past, the search for truffles was “entrusted” to the female pig.
No longer used because of the difficulty in controlling the animal and because of the preference for man's most trusted friend: the dog, with its developed sense of smell and certainly more tame.
The “Lagotto” has become the truffle dog par excellence, after a long selection process. What influenced the choice was its extreme docility, resistance to fatigue and the lack of distraction offered by the game.