Autumn pleasures and truffle’s addiction

27 november 2014

When I was a child, I adored summer with the same strength with which I hated autumn. For me, autumn only had the meaning of going back to the cold, the rain, closed shoes and, obviously, school. Later, I learned to appreciate the subtle pleasure of putting on a wool pullover, drinking hot tea while it was raining outside, lighting the first fire of the year, baking a cake, or carving a Halloween pumpkin with my children. In the Val d’Orcia, autumn also means tasting the marvelous fruits of the season, which smell of undergrowth, fog and humid earth: mushrooms, chestnuts and the ever so marvelous truffles.

Truffles find their ideal habitat in the Val d’Orcia and near the Crete Senesi. Here you can find the best truffles of Tuscany, together with those in San Miniato (Pisa). Every year in November, the White Truffle Festival of the Crete Senesi in San Giovanni d’Asso is dedicated to this precious fruit of the earth. You can not only taste truffles at the festival, but also enjoy other produce of superior quality which our land offers (extra virgin olive oil, sheep cheese, wine and honey). San Giovanni d’Asso is also home to a globally unique museum, which is dedicated solely to the truffle (

I have to admit it - I’m addicted to truffles and I could eat a kilo by myself. However, the greatest pleasure is to share the joy with friends, handing the precious bulb together with its special slicer from person to person, so that each can take as much as he or she likes to flavor their own dish. I have the fortune to know some truffle sellers who are able to locate these perfumed fruits in the middle of a dense forest, with the help of wonderful dogs of infallible instinct, and in places rigorously kept secret.

As they know my passion, I often receive a gift at home, which I enormously appreciate! It’s a perfect excuse to organize a dinner - so simple yet so exceptional. You just need a risotto or a plate of buttered pasta, together with a Brunello di Montalcino, and with every bite you can savour the true essence of autumn in the Val d’Orcia.