“No olive harvest this year. No oil.”
Fans of organic extra virgin olive oil be warned: 2014 has been the ‘Annus Horribilis.‘
Blame the weather for a mild winter that didn’t kill pests, followed by a hot and humid summer that caused the proliferation of the olive fly.
While 2015 will hopefully provide a better harvest, we suggest olive oil enthusiasts be very careful and pay attention to labels. Make sure not to buy cheaper imported oils sold as “fine extra virgin, organic Italian olive oil.”
However, every cloud has a silver lining.
It’s been a great year for truffles, and we have to thank the weather for heavy summer rains and a warm autumn that created the perfect conditions for truffle growth and produced a crop 30% larger than usual.
For once, the so-called “food of the Gods” is more affordable. The price this year is 300 euros/100 grams (3,50oz). This means that for every 8 grams of shaved truffles over your risotto, you will pay around 24 euros.
The flavor is unique and unforgettable. Shave the truffle raw over fresh home made tagliatelle, Carne Cruda all’Albese (a sort of Carpaccio), or fried eggs.
The first week of December this year saw the discovery of the world’s largest white truffle by Sabatino Truffles in the Umbrian region of Italy. The mammoth delicacy weighed in at 4.16 pounds or 1.89 kilos.
The truffle was purchased by a buyer from Taiwan for $61,250 (£39,313) at Sotheby’s auction in New York on Saturday, the 6th of December. The auction house said the Balestra family plans to donate proceeds from the auction to a number of charitable organizations.
Botanical name: Tuber magnatum pico “white truffle”
When: October to December
Where: you can buy white truffles in gourmet food shops (for example: EATALY fresh truffles) or spoil yourself with a delicious meal in a good restaurant
Truffle fairs and hunting areas:
Piemonte region: Alba, in Langhe and Monferrato areas Fiera del Tartufo
Tuscany: San Miniato (between Pisa and Florence, close to Empoli) truffle in Tuscany
Emilia Romagna: Brisighella, the ancient medieval town close to Faenza will host “His Majesty the Truffle.” During the feast, chefs from local restaurants will prepare several delicacies perfumed with white and black truffles
Umbria: “Gubbio National,” the National Fair of White Truffles
Written by Luisa Castiglioni
Edited by Amay Smith
All Rights Reserved