In Piedmont, Unearthing Wine and Fine Dining to Rival Tuscany’s

Mar 15, 2022 230

BY: Lee Marshall

I’m in a misty wood on the sprawling grounds of Casa di Langa hotel with two young truffle hunters, Marta Menegaldo and Daniele Stroppiana. As the pair’s curly-haired Lagotto Romagnolo dogs Bianca and Luna dart off into the undergrowth, noses to the ground, tumbling over each other in their quivering search for that elusive scent, Daniele tells me that his grandfather first took him out looking for prized white tartufi in the woods of Roero, sparking a lifelong passion.

We’re in Le Langhe, a southern pocket of Italy’s Piedmont region. These days, truffle hunting is an almost exclusively male preserve, but back then, at least in Daniele’s family, it was his grandmother who went out looking for mushrooms and truffles while his grandfather was at work. Back in the kitchen, white truffles that today command hundreds of euros at AlbaÆs autumn Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba would be thrown into a minestrone “to give it a bit more flavor.”

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