Here, the months from September to December are the most colorful, festive, full of flavor and life of the year. Autumn is the season of the harvest, of the truffle, of the great fairs and village festivals linked to the food and wine excellences of this period.
But what are the delicacies that the Langhe and Roero offer in autumn? Let's see some of them.
His Majesty the Truffle chooses autumn to reveal itself in all its splendor. There are two main varieties harvested from the Langhe and Roero woods in this period. The Black Truffle (Tuber Melanosporum), the harvest of which begins on November 15th and ends on March 15th; and the "King of Mushrooms", the Alba White Truffle (Tuber magnatum pico), the most precious, rich in perfumes and rare truffle in the world: it cannot be cultivated and the only way to "find it" is to have a trusty dog at his side, trained to find him. In the Langhe and Roero, the Alba White Truffle is used in hundreds of recipes: from the simplest (lamellated on the egg in the pan) to the more complex, elaborated by the many starred chefs of the area. The best way to enjoy it? Coming to the Langhe and taking part in a truffle hunt with a real trifolao: it will be an experience difficult to forget.
From October to December Alba hosts the International Alba White Truffle Fair, the most important event in the world dedicated to the truffle sector and the Precious Truffle.
PERA MADERNASSA (PEAR)
Madernassa is the princess of Piedmontese pears. It comes only from the hills of the Roero, from a small hilly area located between the municipalities of Guarene and Vezza d'Alba. Rare, rustic variety, with a squat shape and hard and crunchy pulp, it is used especially as a cooking pear in one of the traditional recipes of the area: Madernassa pears cooked in red wine, which are served by sprinkling them with the reduction of the wine used in cooking and a sprinkling of sugar. Delicious! La Madernassa is protected by the Consortium for the enhancement and protection of the Madernassa di Guarene and Roero pear, which, in October, organizes a festival dedicated to this excellence.
PIEMONTE IGP HAZELNUT
The Piedmont IGP hazelnut is grown on the slopes of the Roero and Langhe, especially on the wild hills of the Alta Langa, that part of the Langhe, to be clear, which belongs to the municipality of Cortemilia (the real "capital" of Hazelnut) it rises progressively towards the Ligurian Apennines. Undisputed excellence among nuts, the Piedmont IGP hazelnut of Langhe and Roero belongs to a special cultivar, called Tonda and Gentile delle Langhe, which has proved to be the best hazelnut for use in pastry, in the preparation of desserts (the famous cake hazelnuts), ice creams, grains and - of course - in the packaging of the famous hazelnut and chocolate creams. But the PGI Piedmont Hazelnut is so good that it can also be eaten simply roasted, perhaps with a sprinkle of sugar or - for the more daring - with a pinch of salt.
THE LEEKS OF CERVERE
Cervere is a small town located on the western borders of the Roero, a few kilometers west of Bra. Here the soil, history and peasant traditions have elevated the leek to its qualitative excellence. The Cervere leek is born on soils composed of silt, fine sand and limestone, a combination quite rare in nature that gives the leek a sweet taste, pleasant to the palate and greater digestibility. The Cervere leek is protected by its Consortium which, in November, organizes the Cervere Leek Fair.
Piozzo is located at the extreme limit of the western Langhe, on the left bank of the Tanaro, between Dogliani and Bene Vagienna. Here, where the plain meets the hill, pumpkins with unique characteristics are grown: botanically speaking, it belongs to the variety of the so-called "giant pumpkins", or the Cucurbita maxima species, but its size is small. The pulp weighs around 350-400 g, so much so that it can be considered a "single-dose" practice. It excels in the preparation of risottos because, when cooked, its pulp becomes creamy. Excellent in sautéed, it is also perfect for the dough of gnocchi. its flavor is very delicate, tending to sweet. In Piozzo, in October, the Pumpkin Fair takes place, with the famous exhibition of cucurbits: hundreds of different species of pumpkin exhibited in an open-air museum!