Even with driving rain and wind that blew our umbrellas inside out, you could not stop me from heading into the woods to go truffle hunting in Umbria. It’s something I’ve always been curious about and I was interested to see if we could really go out and find some truffles just like that.
Before arriving in Umbria I was under the impression that truffle hunting was done with pigs. I’d seen dogs doing the hunting too but I thought some people would be ‘old school’ and keep a few pigs around to do the dirty work. Apparently not. You’ll only find dogs on a truffle hunt nowadays and we had the very anxious to impress Sole working for us with his owner Matteo.
Matteo gave us a few hints for successful truffle hunting with the most important being to make sure the dog doesn’t eat the truffle!
After a couple of false positives and a lot of wandering through the wet woods, Sole went digging and came up with the goods.
While not the biggest truffle ever, along with the other two truffles we found, we had enough for lunch.
Lunch was a family affair at Agritourismo Ca Solare. It’s a farmstay in northern Umbria which is a bit like a B&B except it’s a working farm. We lunched with Matteo’s family and started with various truffle bruschetta-type dishes. Truffle is quite strong tasting but it’s something I could definitely get used to. The truffle cheese didn’t need getting used it, it was delicious as is.
You can’t go to Umbria without trying truffle pasta, especially if it’s hand made and the truffles have just been dug out of the ground. It’s the number one Umbrian dish and I tried it a couple of times on my recent trip. I find it to be quite rich but there are no small portions in Umbria!
Lots of red wine was consumed with the meal and that was followed up by the local digestive and some biscotti. The trick is to dip the biscotti in the alcohol to soften the biscuit and soak up the drink. There is to be no driving after a good Umbrian meal.
I would have loved to have spent the entire day here truffle hunting and hanging out in the countryside but we had other places to visit in Umbria.