Italy and France Cooking Vacations: Truffle Hunting

With the truffle hunter and his dog during a cooking vacation in UmbriaTruffles aren’t just mushrooms; as you’ll discover on a number of our cooking vacations, they’re also valuable delicacies that enhance any meal, whether you’re cooking in France or Italy. But first you need to find these gems by harvesting them with the help of either pigs or dogs, who are trained to sniff them out. That’s where the fun truffle hunt comes into play, and in these three programs, you can experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for yourself.

Cook with truffles during a culinary vacation in Italy.

A Food Lover’s Paradise

A plate of gnocchi and truffles during a culinary tour of ItalyThe town of Norcia is known for its pork products as well as their amazing black truffles, the qualities of which change throughout the season. In the Winter, the truffles are the most coveted, as they’re thought to be the most delicious then because of the soil’s quality; still, they’re wonderful to cook with year-round.

This particular 6-night cooking vacation adventure includes a truffle hunt (please note, these hunts aren’t always available in May and September). Head out into the Umbrian countryside and follow the dogs as they start digging through the dirt when they smell a truffle, usually near oak and hazelnut trees. Every time they dig up a treasure, they get rewarded, as seen in the picture to the left. You can also experience a cooking and walking version of the itinerary if you’re looking for something more active.

Learn more about this fabulous culinary vacation!

Back in Norcia, delight your senses with amazing pasta dishes that are made with Norcia’s famous black truffle in the Ristorante Vespasia!

Learn about pairing truffles with wine.

Truffle Hunt in Città di Castello, Umbria

We also offer a truffle hunt and cooking demonstration just north of Perugia in Città di Castello. After learning about these valuable truffles, including why they grow where they do, you’ll head out on a hunt with their dog Sole. Following the hunt, return to the farmhouse to learn about washing and preserving truffles, as well as how to create traditional Italian meals with them. Unlike our other programs this is just a demonstration and not a hands-on class, unless you are in a group of 4 or more.

Truffle ravioli on a culinary tour of ItalyOf course, we also offer truffle experiences in France, particularly in the Dordogne, and can offer them in Piedmont as well. Contact us to start planning!

Try some of these recipes featuring truffles:

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By Peg Kern

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