Tag Archives: Truffle hunts

4 things to do in Piedmont


Piedmont is an very important Italian region for the food and wine world yet that has been undervalued by the travel world! In a way, this is a blessing for those wanting to escape the droves of tour buses and groups jam packed into Italy’s major destinations like Rome, Venice and Florence. Not only that, Piedmont is an ideal region to visit if you are a food and wine lover. The best cities to visit in Piedmont are Alba, Turin, Barolo and Bra. If you are planning a trip to Italy, consider Piedmont! Here is what we recommend for things to do in Piedmont:

1. Alba- tap into your inner hunter with a truffle hunt!

Sure, to the uninitiated truffle may just be a foul tuber, but to the gourmand, it represents the ultimate in gastronomic delights. Some would say it has the fragrance of the gods. Although found in France, northern Spain and other parts of Italy, the region around Alba is considered the quintessential truffle capital. It’s also the economic bellwether that determines the official price of truffles worldwide. Its method of discovery adds to the mystique.  A truffle hunt takes you through the the woods exploring with a truffle expert and their truffle hunting dog. Sniffing through the misty woods of Piedmont, the truffle-hunting dog will suddenly dig her paws into the crunchy soil to find a true gastronomic treasure: a large walnut-sized white truffle. At the end of a truffle hunt you’ll learn how to analyze truffles from a technical point of view, as true gourmand tasters do. You’ll learn more about the white truffle, how to use it, how to taste it, and how to preserve it. Totally a must do experience for active, nature loving Italian food lovers!

2. Love chocolate? Visit Turin’s historic chocolate producers!

If you are a chocolate lover, discover “chocolatropolis” Turin: a city of authentic Italian food culture. Visit some of the major points of interest during your trip to Turin and don’t miss captivating Baroque masterpieces like Piazza San Carlo, the Cupola del Guarini, the Royal Palace and Piazza Castello. Remember to stop and smell the flowers by taking a break in an historical caffè and experience Turin’s most traditional coffee: made just for chocolate lovers called “bicerin”, as well as some excellent confections, gelato and pastries. Turin will delight you with Baroque palaces, workshops, bakeries and confectioners.

3. Had enough food? Go on a Barolo wine tour and taste Italy’s finest wines!

Barolo wine is the undisputed king of Italian red wines. Both of the most celebrated Piedmont reds, Barolo and Barbaresco, are made from the Nebbiolo grape that yields deeply perfumed, mid-weight, wines with good aging potential. Among the other noteworthy Piedmont wines are the incisive, vibrant Barbera and the softer, lusher Dolcetto. The best wines of this area were made famous by Marc de Grazia’s “Selection of Fine Wines from The Great Crus Of Italy”, among many others Scavino, Cavallotto, Clerico, Altare and Molino. Whether you are a wine lover, collector or simply a wine drinker, a Barolo wine tour is a great activity to do when visiting Piedmont.

4. Cheese and Beer lover? Visit Bra!

Discover the best cheese in Italy when you visit Bra! The city is very small and very easy to reach by train from Turin. In the historical center part of town, there are plenty of gastronomic deli shops open to the public where you can explore all the different cheeses of the region and taste the ones that look curious to you! In addition to being a great destination for tasting artisan cheese in Piedmont, there is a huge craft beer movement happening in Piedmont and what better way to compliment your cheese tasting in Bra than with a visit to a very tasty brew pub!  (called “birreria” in Italian.) During September, there is the annual slow cheese festival organized by the Slow Food Movement which is a candyland of cheese, beer and wine tastings! In any case, Fall is the quite possibly the best time to visit Piedmont so why not plan it around a cheese festival!

Are these options not enough? Contact the expert travel staff at Le Baccanti to learn more about how you can have the Italian gourmet vacation of your dreams!


Truffle Hunting Tours in Italy


Are you crazy for truffles- like we are? You may have fallen in love with them on a truffle hunting tour,  a visit to a Michellin-starred Italian restaurant in Alba or even a sushi truffle fusion tasting (like we did last year at Fuori di Taste in Florence of 2013). If you have some coveted truffle cream, salsa tartufata or whole truffles at home from a recent truffle hunt- you may be wondering what is best to do with them. We have a couple ideas:

Truffled Frittata- whip a couple of eggs with a spoonful of truffle sauce or truffle cream. Cook as you would an omelette, add some spinach in for some color (and vitamins). If you have whole truffles, you can cook a couple of eggs over easy (with a still gooey, runny yolk) and grate white or black truffle on top as soon as the eggs slide out of the pan. Sprinkle with salt. Enjoy as a luxurious breakfast with a sparkling white wine or as a decadent lunch with a mouth watering white from Piedmont.

**People tend to always think Barolo in terms of food pairing with truffles. However, be careful if you are having eggs with your truffle gold. Eggs are very stubborn in terms of wine pairing and they would go best with a sparkling or a white with high acidity.

Truffled Tagliatelle- Make some fresh egg-based tagliatelle (you can learn how to make home-made pasta with one of our numerous cooking classes in Italy) toss with butter and grate whole, white truffle  atop. Only season with salt and pepper. Be prepared for heaven on a plate. The butter helps brings out the truffle and amplifies its sensory bliss.

Roast Chicken with Black Truffle- Oven roast a whole chicken or already butchered in portions as you normally would. Instead, slice up some black truffle or spoon out some black truffle cream and stuff it in the skin along with a small bit of butter for something truly indulgent.

Would you like to learn more about truffles? We offer private and group guided truffle hunt tours in Alba and Tuscany as well as truffle hunts on wine estates! We include our guided hunts with a trained pooch, truffle expert, a sensory analysis lesson, tastings and with the option of a farmhouse luxury truffled lunch (wine included) with the truffles you find on your hunt. Contact us to learn more about guided truffle hunts in Italy.

Le Baccanti Tours is a luxury travel company located in Tuscany, Italy. We have been specializing in gourmet food, wine and cultural tours of Italy for over 10 years. We pride ourselves on showing our discerning group of clients the authentic and beautiful Italy of their dreams.