The Via Francigena walking and cycling route passes through the beautiful landscape of Tuscany giving you the ideal excuse to sample their famous local delicacy. To celebrate the truffle season in Tuscany we have come up with a few unique truffle ideas for you to try out at home or even better, when you visit the stunning region. Italian culture has always been synonymous with delicious, fresh food produce. I am lucky enough to be heading in the direction of San Miniato with my colleagues to cycle from Lucca to Rome. The cycle will take us along the Via Francigena route in late October, perfect for the harvest season. For me (an eager Irish forager) this is the ultimate foraging experience. We will arrive in Tuscany during the harvest season when the rare truffles, Porcini muchrooms, wine grapes and olives will be ripe and plentiful. To prepare for our trip I have been doing a bit of truffle research. Here are a few ways that you can enjoy the much loved truffle:
One of the best ways to see, taste and learn about truffles is to attend one of the many truffle fairs in the region. These food packed fairs are free celebrations of the delicacy where market stalls are filled with truffle oil, samples of the rare white truffle and entertainment for guests. Chefs from all over the world descend on Italy during the festivals in search for the fresh white and black truffles to bring back to eagerly awaiting customers. San Miniato hosts a renowned annual truffle festival during the last three weekends in November.
We will be joining local truffle expert Massimo and his dog to sample the art of truffle hunting in the medieval town of San Miniato when we visit in October. In the past, pigs were used for truffle hunting but they were eating the truffles before the hunters could reach the valuable commodities. Nowadays trained dogs are partnered with truffle experts, making them a prized combination for gathering truffles. Truffle hunting is an ancient tradition in Tuscany and requires that all participants respect nature. Massimo will give us a short briefing before we continue through the beautiful forests of Tuscany. He has promised to unveil the secrets of truffle identification, the legends of the truffle and the best ways to use the truffle in the kitchen.
Check out this simple but delicious recipe that the experts in Tuscany have revealed to us.
White Truffle Eggs
- Two fresh eggs
- Olive Oil (preferably extra virgin Tuscan)
- White Truffle of San Miniato
Put a little olive oil in a small pan (make sure it’s fire-resistant) and heat it up slowly, break the two eggs and pour them into the pan. Add a pinch of salt and let it cook slowly. Once it is almost cooked, slice the white truffle over the eggs. Cover the pan and serve. The Chef suggests using freshly baked bread instead of a fork when eating the truffle eggs. Delicious!
Now all we need to do is get ourselves to Tuscany before the truffle season ends. Stay tuned for our updates on our visit to tasty section of the Via Francigena in October.
For more information about the truffles in Tuscany or to book your walking or cycling holiday along the Via Francigena contact one of our Travel Specialists.