Truffle Market Exhibition in Valtopina
Mostra Mercato del Tartufo
This year was the 38th edition of the truffle market exhibition“Mostra Mercato del Tartufo” in Valtopina. In 1981 the exhibition was started by truffle hunters and local companies to present products of the territory. Now more than 90 exhibiting companies are involved.
During the last two weekends of November many people come to Valtopina to visit the market to taste delicious dishes all based on truffles and to buy local products from Umbria. There is a lot of choice between truffles, food, olive oil and wines. During the exhibition you can also participate in cooking classes, workshops and even truffle hunting.
Valtopina is located in the valley of the river Topino and near the Subasio Mountain. The soil is rich with clay and the forests in the hills, make it ideal for truffle conditions. The vegetation of the truffle live in symbiosis with oak, holm-oak, beech and chestnut trees.
Truffels used to be hunted by pigs because they have an excellent sense of smell. They are the best truffle hunters! But the problem is that pigs love to eat truffles and they also can cause a lot of damage to the terrain. Since 1985 the pigs have been replaced by dogs.
Dogs are more mobile and delicate than pigs and can easily be trained. For the dog it is like playing a game. They like the truffle hunting and don’t consider it as a work. Rather then eating the truffle they wait for their reward from their owner, usually some biscuits.
Truffle hunting in Umbria is an antique traditions spanning generations in the family. Truffle hunters need to be licensed.
At the truffle exhibition there are only two types of truffles. The “Tartufo Nero Uncinato” the black truffle, and the “Bianco Pregiato” the white truffle. The truffle hunting season for the white truffle is from the last weekend of September till the end of December. The “Nero Pregiato” instead is ready to be harvested from the 1st of December.
Truffles are a true delicacy and often highly prized. The black truffle, the Uncinato should be eaten within 10 days after the harvesting, and the rare Italian white truffle can only be kept for a maximum of 4 days.
Truffles have strong aromas. The black truffles can be used raw, lightly cooked or have them shaved onto pizza, pasta, risotto and meat dishes. The white truffles are more fragrant and should never be cooked. To enjoy the white truffle at its best you must eat them fresh and uncooked as soon as possible.
The truffle market in Valtopina also is a gastronomic presentation of rarely seen local cheeses, selected cured hams, fine olive oils, Umbrian sweets and an exhibition of all kinds of handicraft. This year the market of Valtopina takes place from November 17 tot November 25 2018.
For a detailed program of the event you can find more information on the official website.