San Giovanni d’Asso is the third smallest municipality in Tuscany and yet it is one of the top producers in the world of white truffle. Truffle and Orcia wine festival, all for seduction is the motto
Truffle hunting with tourists
By Donatella Cinelli Colombini
30° edition of the Mostra Mercato del Tartufo bianco delle Crete Senesi (7-8, 14-15 November 2015) with food stalls and local artisans all around the medieval castle in San Giovanni d’Asso. Inside the fortifying walls one finds the Museo del tartufo and this is where the market of these delicious truffles. In the surrounding area plenty of truffle preserves, intact natural corners where the dog find the “white nuggets” I have 5 of them at Fattoria del Colle and on Sunday mornings, also during the next weekends(14-15 November and 5-8 December) we organize a truffle hunt for guests staying in our country inn. We will be waiting for you!
Walter Speller in San Giovanni d’Asso
In the occasion of the Mostra del tartufo bianco the wine appellation of this area was celebrated too, Doc Orcia, which launched the first totem apt to distribute brochures. 7 of them will be positioned in car parks, and tourist information offices to distribute 100.000 flyers with a map. A sort of welcome to Orcia, the most beautiful wine in the world, to tourists who arrive here. The alliance between Consorzio and Strada del vino Orcia is beginning to bring results. In the meantime in the fireplace hall in the castle a wine tasting regarding 10 Orcia wines carried out by Walter Speller, one of the major foreign exerts in Italian wines that has recently discovered this appellation and had a pleasant surprise.
Truffles and Orcia wines
The chef at Fattoria del Colle, Antonio Corsano, prepares for us some “Gnocchi di semolino with white truffle of Crete Senesi” ideal for winter days
Gnocchi di semolino_restaurant_Fattoria del Colle
We suggest a recipe which is simple and quick: gnocchi di semolino. These are disks of Durum wheat or, depending on the occasion they can be shaped differently. They can also be called “gnocchi alla romana“, and in fact it is not a typically Tuscan dish but where we are, in southern Tuscany, it has now become a traditional dish coke during cold winter evenings.
Already in the late 19th century this recipe had been inserted in the famous manual Pellegrino Artusi “La Scienza in cucina e l’Arte di mangiar bene” in the section called “trasmessi” or rather those dishes that were to be served between one course and another. But, quite on the contrary it is a rich and delicious dish…you try it and tell us what you think!
Ingredients for 4 people
1/2 lt of milk
100 gr of durum wheat flour
Salt and pepper
150 gr of grated Parmigiano
White truffle flakes
Extra virgin olive oil
Boil the milk and add the flour, slowly while continuously stirring. Add salt, pepper and Parmigiano. Continue stirring until you get
chef Antonio Corsano_Gnocchi di semolino_Fattoria del Colle
smooth texture. Lay the mixture on a tray and smooth it out with a spatula. Leave it to cool. Cut with a cutter into round shapes and put the disks into a greased Pyrex dish. Put in the oven and cook until they get a golden colouring. As soon as they are out of the oven cover with the truffle flakes and add a little extra virgin olive oil. Serve while still hot.
Advise for gluttons by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
The best areas for the collection of white truffles are the Langhe and the Crete Senesi, in other words one of them is right here where we are situated. The heart of the truffle country is San Giovanni d’ Asso where every year you will find the White Truffle Market Exhibition. This is the 26th year that it has taken place, it is open on the 12th -13th , and the 19th – 20th November and is held in the medieval castle, which also houses the Truffle Museum. There will be food stands, wine tasting of the Doc Orcia, conventions and trips into the countryside.
You will be able to buy truffles and even go looking for him. Many restaurants in the area, including the Osteria di Donatella in Fattoria del Colle, will be serving menus dedicated to the truffle.
The precious tubers grow in the autumn amongst the roots of Poplar, Oak, Linden, Willow, Hornbeam and Hazel trees.
They like to grow in wet places such as the banks of small streams. Early in the morning the truffle-sniffing dogs will find the truffles and bring them out into the light of the new day. The best truffles are those which are large, without any cavities and which have just been unearthed. At the Fattoria del Colle we have 5 truffle reserves, these are protected areas where truffles grow. They are situated at the lowest part of the farm where the soil has more clay, not where there are vineyards, or olive groves, but where the wheat is grown. They are situated in an enchanting and beautiful valley, which is very carefully protected, where even smoking is banned because the truffle only grows in uncontaminated areas.
This year the production of truffles is expected to be quite low due to the drought in the last two months. Hopefully there will enough to let you have the opportunity to taste them, don’t forget we are waiting here to serve them to you!
One-click one week photo contest is giving away prizes of trips to the Crete Senesi
Donatella Cinelli Colombini