A TRUFFLE WEEKEND
Readers of these pages might recall my post called "A Castle," in which I described a very warm and welcoming old castle in the foothills of the Alps to the east of Turin. This, above, is a view of it crowning the hilltop of Montemagno, the old stomping ground of Barbarossa. We, and several other friends of the Count Ascanio Calvi di Bergolo and his wife, Letizia, were invited for a truffle weekend—this is where they dig them up, after all!
The town of Montemagno is home to several lovely churches, which we passed on Saturday morning as a few of us took an eight kilometer long walk through the surrounding countryside.
You can see our home base, with its crenellated roof, peeking out at the upper left. It's a small town in the middle of nowhere but look at the extraordinary elegance of this 17th century architecture.
And off we go into the early morning sun.
Left to right: Paolo Rossi, Gil Cohen, Carolina Rossi, Ascanio and Letzia Calvi.
We passed this delightful little antique chapel, miles from any paved road.
The weather has been fantastic here throughout the whole month of November.
Later on we visited Asti and had lunch at Eataly. You might have heard of Eataly in New York, well the whole idea was born here in Piemonte. There's now an Eataly even in Tokyo and in several other Japanese cities! You're asked to feel that it's all very "affordable," as you sit down at your paper place mat to find an upside down paper cup (presumably for your imported Italian table water—imported in the case of faraway Eatalys that is). Left to right: Gil Cohen, Carolina Rossi, Ascanio Calvi, Daniela Blom, Letizia Calvi.
Sunday morning, back at the castle, the anticipated truffle pranzo.
Fresh tagliatelle, very eggy home made noodles.
The quick hand of our generous host slices his baseball-sized truffles with an antique truffle knife.
My serving. Perhaps it might sound elitist to say this, but (this is an elitist blog) until you've eaten the Piemonte white truffle a few steps from where they're found and only a day or so later you've never really eaten an Italian white truffle. Aren't I awful?