I don’t even know where to begin…
OMG I HAD THE BEST DAY EVER!!!!!! My life is officially complete – but it didn’t start out that way…
I woke up early enough to get to the station for 7:30am (my train was at 8:02am), and it only takes about 15 minutes to get to the station on foot, I left the hostel at 7:15am and got super super lost… So lost in fact that I ended up SPRINTING, yes, SPRINTING my way into the train station at 8:04am and THANK GOD the train was late, because just as it was about to pull away I opened the train car door and fell inside. Yes, literally fell into the car – it was rather dramatic. But, hey, I made it!!! After many, many deep breaths of calming down from my epic race to the finish line, I started getting super excited for what was to come!
Alberto (one of the truffle hunter’s) picked me up from the Foligno Train Station and we headed out to the farm to begin the day of foraging. There were so many amazing facts and history told during the short car ride, I felt immediately a part of the Umbria region. I loved it, and I’m pretty sure Umbria loved me too (or maybe that’s just some future fantasy in the works). I mean, how could you not fall in love with these views!?
As we headed up the very windy roads, we came to a halt… Why you may ask? Oh just the usual sheep herding down the road to the open field near by – no big deal.
After a quick coffee, we were off to the hills! But first, let me take a selfie with this cute springer spaniel!!! Totally missing Otto & Annie now… Wahh!
Dante, my truffle hunting partner – his parents run the farm – his mother Italian, and his father a Kiwi! But get this, he speaks Italian to his mother, and English to his father but his parents speak both languages fluently. But, according to Dante, his dad sounds funny when he speaks Italian. So hilarious, but oh so cute, and his sister Polli is absolutely adorable too – I even gave her a Canadian Loonie as a gift, but she said “this euro looks funny” – she’s also 2.5 years old. But, LET’S GO!
The dogs went off into the hills like a flash of lightning – but it looks like we found our first truffle!
I mean, really, how can you beat these views?!? They’re amazing, and better in person – trust me. Ugh, Umbria you have my heart now.
We continued on our forage, finding close to 20 truffles on our first go.
Now, for an early lunch, and where to eat it? Oh, well, the field where the sheep were herded to of course! And all prepared from the back of the Land Rover – homemade sheep’s milk cheese, scrambled eggs with shaved truffle, and wine of course- yes please!
SO. MUCH. YUM.
Now on to our late lunch, naturally. Prepared by my mentor for the day, Nonna(Grandma) Josephine, with more wine of course. She is the youngest of 4 girls, and in Italian tradition the youngest daughter is always the one to prepare the pasta each day. She has been making pasta by hand for over 50 years – Every. Single. Day. Praise The Lord for this woman!
I even got in there for a little kneading of the pasta dough, hell ya I did!
Truffle and olive oil spread (the olive oil is also pressed at their farm, amazing) on crostini
The location, food, wine and ambience couldn’t have gotten any better. Sublime. Pure bliss. Perfect, in fact.
First course: the homemade tagliatelle we had made earlier, paired with tomato, eggplant and duck sauce. Should I say it again? Okay, SO. MUCH. YUM.
Second course: braised chicken (raised at their farm) in a pepperoni inspired sauce. Sorry, it was so good I couldn’t even take a second to take a picture.
On to the Third course: homemade Italian sausage (pork raised on farm too) with a lovely green salad with a homemade balsamic reduction…and more wine. The wine of which is from a local cantina nearby Mac & Francesca’s farm.
Fourth course: poached apple with walnuts and cinnamon cake, vanilla custard on the side, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. To die for, really.
I couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was every thing I was hoping for, and more. Truly an amazing day. Thank you thank you thank you to all of the wonderful people involved in today to make this day extra special.
Salute – until again Umbria.
The Fab Foodie YXE. Xoxo