The Truffles of The Umbrian Valtiberina
Notwithstanding its scenic views, the Umbrian Valtiberina is one of the least known areas in Umbria and definitely one of the least touristic. However, it is popular among food lovers from all over the country because of its truffle production.
Valtiberina is the valley in the province of Perugia bordering with Tuscany. It is named after the river Tiber, rising in Emilia-Romagna and flowing through Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. The Umbrian Valtiberina is particularly renowned for a special product, that is truffle, both black and white. White type is locally known as trifola.
Truffle production in the Umbrian Valtiberina
Thanks to Valtiberina’s productivity, Umbria is the first region in Italy for truffle production. With an average 25 tonnes every year, it represents 30% of the national production and as much as 45% of the national exports. One of the unique characteristics of Valtiberina’s truffle production is the great variety of species growing within the territory throughout the year, because of the ideal conditions and properties of the soil.
The numerous species of the Umbrian Valtiberina’s truffle
The white truffle is considered the most prestigious type and is the most sought-after amongst food enthusiasts, which explains its high price. The white truffle is harvested from September to December. At a very early stage, its colour is white, but slowly turns grey with reddish spots as time goes by. The period from January to March is the time for the bianchetto and the brumale species. The former is also known as the whitish truffle, whereas the latter, despite having a light colour when unripe, it later darkens to reddish-brown or blackish. From May all through the summer – the least fertile period for truffle – harvesting is limited to the scorzone truffle, which, despite being the least prestigious and least aromatic of all the species, has a distinctive taste, reminiscent of porcini mushrooms. The wine to be paired with truffle depends on the recipe in which it is the most prominent ingredient. A good accompaniment for white truffle risotto is Colli Altotiberini Grechetto CDO, whose main characteristics are a straw-yellow colour, a fragrant smell and a fresh, yet not sharp, taste.
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