Sunday: Alba

Today was the International White Truffle (or as they say here: Tartufo Bianco) Festival in Alba. We spent a good part of the morning and early afternoon there until the crowds and then rain became too much.

The festival had all kinds of food – boar roasting on a spit, chicken, ribs, kebabs – and plenty of other selections. It was too early for any of that, so we checked out the games set up around the city center. All of them looked as though they had been used for decades – worn, but still good-looking Skittles tables, bows and arrows, a dart board, ring toss to win bottles of wine, and many other games that seemed well attended with prizes, mostly wine, handed out to winners. It was fun to watch.

We made our way to the truffle tent, where dozens of vendors were selling their white and black truffles. It takes forever to make a sale since they add the cost each truffle individually and they have to wrap them carefully. There is an official judging area for those who are skeptical about the value of what they bought. So there were lines of people everywhere and the whole place was very busy.

(We bought just one truffle with the plan to slice it up – there’s a special truffle slicer in the kitchen drawer here – and mix it into scrambled eggs, as suggested by our host.)

The tent, although huge, became so filled with people that it was impossible to walk, so we left. We continued to walk around the streets for a while but there were people and umbrellas everywhere.

Eventually we got out of the rain and came back to enjoy the tartufo scrambled eggs. They were very good.

photos: white truffles for sale

below: a game of Skittles. I watched for a while but didn’t see anyone win.

wild boar cooking