Fine white truffle

The Research for the fine white truffle, also called Acqualagna’s truffle or Alba’s truffle

The fine white truffle is known in different ways: Rapone, Alba’s truffle or Acqualagna’s truffle or with his latin name Tuber Magnatum Pico.
It is the truffle for excellence.

The base concept it’s the same as ever: man, dog, truffle.

That triad reach his best expression in the search of fine white truffle.

Yes, we should be honest and distinguish the different king of research: fine black truffle, bianchetto white truffle and fine white truffle.
Searching for the fine white truffle it takes a lot of differences: it is so expansive because it’s also the hardest to find.

It really is the treasure of the ground.

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the research of fine white truffleThere’s a lot of factor conditioning (or impeding) its grown.

Personally, I consider that a charming research, poetic, first of all for the tipical colors and scents of the woods in the research periods.

Imagine entering in a forest at the dawn, you see some mist decorating the cobwebs, the dewdrops in the grass, red and yellow leaves of which autumn dressed, only this simple emotion can justify the early rising and the long walk.
Now try to combine this feeling with the complexity of the discovery and the dog’s action in the search.

The truffle man knows the places where to lead the dog but he doesn’t know the exact point where the truffle hides. I remember my early years of search, my Grandfather Gino told me: “Follow the dog, trust it, it knows where truffle born, it knows where to go”.

Over time we discover new places, we see the old footprints, we get more experience, we build our own archive (also I do it: everyday i mark in my diary the date of the discovery, the place, the plant nearby, the shape and the weight; it will be an heritage for my son Tommaso, if he will follow my way). Every season the same scene repeats: every evening, before going to bed, I read back my diary studing the next day’s route, hoping to find again in that wood or in that ditch the same truffle of the past year.

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a really clear fine white truffleThat’s why I told going in the research of fine white truffle (or the “Rapone” as it’s commonly called around Acqualagna) means to write and leave a novel every day .
You get up early in the morning with many expectations, hoping to find and discover a wonderful truffle, but unfortunately you’ll often write a totally different story for that day, with a much more disappointing final result.

I would be a hypocrite if I said I was not sorry to return with empty pockets; anyway I come back home peaceful, I’m glad I spent the best day ever.

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Someone pointed out to me using the adjective “mystic”, to recount and explain the research of fine white truffle and the relationship evolving between dogs, soil and truffle man, it’s too excessive. But now that I’m thinking and writing this story I believe it is exactly the right word.

I think about when, at dawn, I just got out of the car and in the dark thick woods with my dogs, I begin a seemingly unprovoked path. In reality I follow a mysterious track that has lasted for centuries.
The dogs start immediatly dancing while they’re inspecting every part of the underwood, to filter the myriad of smells that permeate, until they finally arrive – as attracted by a magnetic force – to the point, where once laid their nose to the ground, vehemently, they begin the ritual of excavation.

This is the moment that brings me back to reality and immediately I am overwhelmed by a whirlwind of emotions. That’s the fascination of discovering and it’s everytime different and compelling.
And now it’s time for excavation.
You stand on your knees as you’re praying, you take a handful of soil and you bring it to your nose, to feel the scent of truffle, then depending on the intensity, you call the dog to continue the “hole”.

Slow actions: truffle wants its time, break it would be a sacrilege, as well as an economic disadvantage.

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fine white truffleUnder the watchful eye of the dog, that control and mostly sniffs every movent, me, helped by my spade and my fingers I calmly start discovering the truffle carefully, when suddenly, from the dark of the earth I can see the unmistakable yellow shade. My heart axcellerates, curiosity is too much, with a finger I start digging all around, to know the real size of the treasure that awaits me.
Once freed from the soil and the roots, with the handle of the spade I extract it from the ground, I bring it to the nose, and after sniffing with delight I show it to the dog, which pleased expects the deserved prize…

I put it carefully in my pocket after cleaning, then I cover the hole that I made to extract the truffle putting leaves and branches over the loose soil, so that no one can see where I found the truffle! It’s our secret.

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The tour continues, I occasionally take from the pockets the found truffles admiring and pampering them. Finds repeates, everyone in different way, but the results it’s the same: the discover of the most fragrant treasure of the ground.

So now when you’re in a restaurant to taste a dish with truffles, as well as the taste thought to the feelings and emotions that it can produce even before being eaten.

So you’ll forget the bill!

Alessandro Benvenuti

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