Day 2: The truffle hunt and the salami factory

It’s like a Disney movie around here. Every morning, we wake to birds chirping and sunlight pouring through the windows. Not to mention the girls turn every other phrase into a song!

truffle hunt

The trek for truffles

Today, we set off with the group to hunt truffles with a pair of dogs and a guide. We’re told Argo and Sara were trained as puppies to sniff out the elusive truffles by suckling truffle oil spread on their mother’s teat. Once old enough to hunt, the pair knew to seek the familiar scent. The dogs sit to indicate a ripe truffle and a guide digs it up.

We marched through cherry, peach and oak trees seeking the subterranean mushrooms, and came away with about half a dozen pungent black truffles that went straight from the ground into our spaghetti lunch.

IMG_0598

The delicious meal was enjoyed at the butcher shop, which was formerly a jail and then a convent before its current state as a salami factory. The cured meats in Carunchio are non-processed and seasoned with only salt and pepper. Encased in pig’s bladder, the sausages are cured in mold, dipped in lard and hung to dry for months before being offered up for consumption. We delighted in antipasti of sorpresata, cappicola, pecorino and pancetta with fresh bread before dining on a delicious bowl of truffle-topped spaghetti.

After lunch, we walked around the village, attempting to communicate with the locals for directions to the local post office.  Only about 620 people live in this town, we learned. And very few speak English. Unsure how to get back to the Palazzo Tour d’Eau, we asked a sweet elderly man in a yellow wool sweater for help. He smiled through about three teeth and tipped his news boy cap. Then, that kind old soul walked us all the way back up the hill, pointing out his hometown in the distance on the way.

Cooking class

Tonight, we prepared a lovely wine-fueled dinner of:

  • Pecorino nestled inside a few leaves of arugula, wrapped with prosciutto, drizzled with olive oil and complimented with three black olives (recipe)
  • Stuffed artichokes (recipe)
  • To-die-for tiramisu (recipe)
arugula wrap 2
Jessie demonstrating how to properly wrap the prosciutto around the arugula
artichoke medley
A tray of freshly stuffed artichokes. Let’s just say mine did not make the cut.
stuffed artichoke
A beautiful roasted artichoke stuffed with breadcrumby cheesy deliciousness.
tiramisu
Isn’t she tirimi-stunning?
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