White gold in Citta di Castello.
Last weekend it was off to Citta di Castello a lovely town in the north of Umbria for a truffle feast.
All over town there were covered areas and stalls. The first one we encountered was filled with producers from all over italy. If you were on the hunt for some great cheese or meats from Norcia this was the place to be. We stocked up on some great sausages, bread and cheese. All products of high quality we tested ourselves, since we have come to know some of these stall holders and their production methods quite well over the years.
A little further it was ‘sweet tooth time’ no less than 5 regional producers of honey and honey related products. We got some delicious honey hazelnut concoction, which would be very able to give the shiffers to the Nutella producers! Then off to the oil market. I guess around 10 producers of olive oil had put bottles of their novello (and bread) on tables to taste. We resurfaced grasping a bottle of liquid green gold from Gradassi, a rather large but good producer in the Spoleto area.
We were beckoned by a familiar smell. The real truffle market. Big white truffles kept under glass, even more black truffles piled high and a plethora of truffle related products. We stood around a stall and were dazzled by the smell of the white truffle as the glass cover was lifted for only a few seconds. You could get people to pay for that!
A friendly well groomed lady informed us on the latest prices. We will make sure to visit her in the near future to update our truffle knowledge. But I can tell you that the white truffle would have set you back around 3 euro’s a gram. A simple Pasta al tartufo bianco needs some 5 grams per person and some more does no harm!
The entertainment part of the market was next. A rather noisy cooking show with 4 cooks and presenters whom they must have hired from RAI or Mediaset. What a difference with the dimmed secretive voices on the truffle market!
These markets always leave you hungry and the italians know that so pay a small sum and you can gorge on freshly roasted chestnuts washed down with Novello wine.