The Alba Truffle Fair and the Langhe in celebration

The Alba Truffle Fair turns 90 years old!

Yes, you read right, 90 years old. But she still looks like a little girl.

The story

The Truffle Fair in Alba began in 1928 and is actually called the Grape Harvest Fair or Vendemmiale. It was born from the move of the Fiera del Mussotto which was held in the first week of September and lasted only one day. By decree of the Podestà, lawyer Giulio Cesare Moreno, it was decided to establish a Fair or Feast that would last 15 days.

The 1928 grape harvest fair saw the light in Alba and was very much attended. The municipalities of the Langhe created floats for the occasion, the most admired of which was that of Barbaresco. During the Fair of 1928, the Truffles were presented for the first time. The presentation was made by Giacomo Morra. An attempt was made to highlight a well-known product that was donated by farmers to the various “authorities” of the villages. They liked it very much!

In 1929 it was decided that the truffle exhibition should have more space and that the trifolao could improve its visibility by displaying its valuable products. The period for the Truffle Exhibition had to follow the best season for the tuber and therefore would be held in late autumn. A form of marketing that was already very far-sighted at the time!

From there to start talking about Truffle Fair instead of Grape Harvest Fair was a moment.

The allegorical floats, the village band, and the parades of the neighboring municipalities gave luster to the precious Alba White Truffle.

The price of truffles grew during the Fair as did the quantities sold.

In 1930 it was still called Festa Vendemmiale but in the meantime, it was also called the Second Truffle Fair of Alba. Other European countries began to take an interest in this “perfumed exhibition”, increasing interest in Alba and the area in general.

In 1931, two events, the National Grape Festival and then the Third Truffle Fair of Alba.

Even in 1932, there were still two fairs. Just in 1932, Alba began to enjoy popularity with many tourists attracted by the increasingly famous Alba White Truffles.

Pinot Gallizio invented the “Palio degli Asini”  (Donkey Race), the first race that wanted to make fun of the famous Palio di Asti.

But by now the Fairs could be merged into one big party or fair and by right, because of its success, it would be called the Truffle Fair of Alba.

What the Truffle Fair represents for the Langhe and the city of Alba

The heart of the Fair is the Market because you can see, smell and observe the differences between the various truffles.

The quality of the products at the Fair is guaranteed by the National Center for Truffle Studies. Each truffle is evaluated and marked in order to trace the seller.  At the market, you will be accompanied by experts who will allow you to appreciate and evaluate the nuances of the different products.

Every year many cooking, tasting and information events related to the world of the White Truffle of Alba revolve around food and wine products.

The calendar of events can be found on the official website of the Alba Truffle Fair (here is the link)

The Truffle Fair first and foremost involves Alba, which becomes the nerve center of many events. But also the municipalities of the Langhe dress festively and prepare to welcome visitors from all over the world. The restaurateurs compete for the best pieces and the tourists go around inebriated by the scents and flavors.

By bike, Vespa, on foot or on your own

Choose the one that suits you from the many proposals.

Do not miss the scents and colors of autumn in the Langhe

The Search for the White Truffle of Alba

The protagonist is undoubtedly the Truffle, a fragrant mushroom that is quiet and hidden in the earth. Here then we can say that the Truffle is the protagonist but without the Trifolao and his faithful dog, all this kermesse would be impossible!

We must therefore bow to the skill of the men of the Langhe who have been able to hand down the secret places and their ability to train the dogs that accompany them in this fruitful quest.

Here you will find an article where I talk about Truffles and Trifolao: Truffles and Trifole.

How to taste the White Truffle of Alba

Restaurants, trattorias, wineries, and all the players in the catering industry are proud to present dishes with white truffles in Alba and the surrounding area during the Fair. There are also cooking classes, or open cooking schools, where chefs perform in exalting the special qualities of the Tuber Magnatum, and where you can taste the dishes prepared. There is also a wonderful possibility, the purchase of the Truffle at the Truffle Fair Market and the preparation at the home of two eggs in butter with a succulent and fragrant grated truffle. All accompanied by a glass of excellent wine, Barolo, Barbaresco, or my beloved Dolcetto.

The recommended portion on a plate fluctuates around 7 grams per plate and per person and prices are very variable because they depend on the abundance of the harvest and certainly on demand.

Restaurants around the world know and compete for this precious and fragrant “mushroom that looks like a potato”.


The Truffle Fair of Alba in 2020

The Organization of the Fair is entrusted to a non-profit Association, created in 2003. In this particular year, it will take care to observe all the necessary instructions to ensure the safety of guests and participants.

You will be able to stay without problems in one of the many structures in the area and you will be able to enjoy the many events that will be presented in the coming weeks.

If you would like to organize your own tour, your own personal vision of the Alba Truffle Fair, I will be happy to prepare a proposal that includes a Truffle Search with tasting to follow; a cooking class just for you and for those traveling with you, to teach you how to prepare tajarin, another dish that goes very well with truffles!

But you can also escape from the madding crowd in Alba, with a nice trek in the hills, amidst the red yellow, and orange vineyards, or even travel with an e-bike from village to village!



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