6 October – 25 November 2018
From early October to mid-November every year, the pretty town of Alba, nestled in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, about an hour by car from Turin, hosts the annual Alba International White Truffle Fair to coincide with the late autumn harvest period of Tartufo bianco di Alba, which are characterised by their irregular shape, due to the unevenness of the soil in which they grow. Known as the town of a hundred medieval towers, Alba’s old centre is beautifully preserved and strolling its streets and piazzas, with a gelato in hand, is one of life’s great pleasures. As the truffle fair approaches, international chefs, gastronomy buffs, oenophiles and travelling foodies all descend upon Alba to sample the decadent, aromatic and wildly exclusive white prizes. During the fair, the little unattractive mushrooms – sniffed out by trained dogs and pigs – are cleaned, meticulously preserved and shaved sparingly over pasta, risotto, grilled vegetables and just about everything else.