At that time I lived in San Miniato, San Miniato Alto to be exact … the historic heart of Tuscany. I was lucky enough to live downtown, among the narrow medieval streets, but at the same time I hadn’t been there long enough to stop feeling like a tourist. Every night I walked back home with my nose in the air and my eyes half closed, enjoying every scent, savoring the sense of antiquity and goodness that permeates throughout the city. If I close my eyes my mind wanders back to a Saturday morning in November, the first day of the feast of truffles…
THE WHITE TRUFFLE from the San Miniato hills, a geographical truffle-producing area that extends towards the inland countryside of Pisa, is known as the Tuber Magnatum Pico, the Food of the Kings, and is the most valuable of this underground fungi. Located a few centimetres deep, they can only be found in a limited number of areas favoured by nature for the particular, almost mysterious combination of forest fauna and geological substratum.
SAN MINIATO holds the most records in this select area. Here the largest truffle ever found, a very fragrant tuber weighing in at 2.520 grams, was presented to President of the United States Truman in 1954 with great fanfare. But their truffles also hold a record of quality, not only because of the fertility of the woods, but also to the care taken and the deep respect for the environment where they are gathered.
THE SHOW: 9-10th & 16-17th & 23-24th November 2013.
For more than forty years the MOSTRA MERCATO NAZIONALE DEL TARTUFO BIANCO di San Miniato (The National White Truffle of San Miniato Show), transforms the city for the entire month of NOVEMBER into a huge open-air tasting workshop. Here the truffle takes the throne where it is displayed in the historical Piazza del Duomo at the foot of the Rocca. Other squares also have their own markets where typical flavours of the San Miniato hills are offered together with specialities from other Italian culinary cities.