There is a very good reason to brave the weather and go to Piemonte in November. Breakfast. Not a typical Italian breakfast, meaning a fast industrial brioche and coffee. No, a contemplative breakfast. A breakfast befitting the season.
And this is the season for the white truffle. This is the season, in other words, when the “tuber magnatum pico, called “trifola” in piedmontese, is the most prestigious truffle.”
This is when you sit down to breakfast and your senses come alive, suddenly when the cold wind blows through the kitchen, bringing with it the deliriously sexy smell of truffles freshly prodded from Piemonte soil. You ask them to grate some over a fried egg, the best way to eat a truffle.
But that’s not all. Cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves and aged until it cracks along the crystalline structure like a fine grana. Cheeses branded with a hot iron.
All this happened at a rather extraordinary bed and breakfast called Tra Arte & Querce, Between Art and Oak. Oaks being the primary tree the truffles are friendly with. You can’t go wrong with a room over a restaurant presided over by a truffle hunter. Not in November. Not when you’ve braved the wind and the legendary fog after which the main grape of the region, nebbiolo is named.
Tra Arte & Querce is located in Monchiero in the Cuneo province of Piemonte. It’s a very evocative little village. You must go.
In November. Risk it. Because, this: