The 21st September the Alba White Truffle harvest season officially started.

According to regional law, the Alba White Truffle of Piedmont will be available in restaurants, markets and shops until 31 January.

The truffle-hunting experience is undoubtedly most exciting for truffle enthusiasts.

In order to find a truffle, the truffle hunter, or trifolao, must rely on the invaluable assistance of a dog, with a very refined sense of smell, trained to detect the aroma of this kind of mushroom, combined with the intuition gained from years of experience.

After being spotted by the dog, the truffle is extracted from the ground by the truffle hunter. This is an operation in which the truffle hunter uses a special hoe and requires to be carried out with the utmost delicacy. It only ends when the topsoil removed is recompacted to allow the extraction of the Tuber Magnatum Pico.

It is essential that all truffle enthusiasts are informed, region by region, of the truffle harvest calendar and that, according to the regional guidelines, they only purchase the product or eat it in restaurants when authorised.

The Centro Nazionale Studi Tartufo (National Truffle Study Centre) and the Unione delle Associazioni Trifolao Piemontesi (Union of Piedmontese Truffle Associations) explain how a “rest” period is necessary to avoid over-exploitation of the environment during a crucial time for the ripening of the fruit bodies: “To love and enjoy the truffle also means to respect its seasonality and allow the environment the right times for activity and rest”, explains Antonio Degiacomi, President of the National Truffle Study Centre.

The so-called “biological stop”, which states that harvesting for all truffle species shall stop from 1st to 20th September, is an integral part of the life cycle of this fungus, and is therefore necessary and very important. This simple gesture of civilisation and respect for the truffle environment allows us to fully enjoy this natural asset at the right time!

For further information and to view the Harvest Calendar of the Piedmont Region: www.tuber.it