As my time living in France continues, I remain fiercely committed to what I refer to as the Oui Plan.
The impulsive side of me hadn’t thought twice about the offer, until I found myself 50km outside of Torino on dark roads in a stranger’s car. I took my first sigh of relief when I realized that he was at least going to let me eat the truffles before chopping me up into pieces and burying me in the woods. We eventually arrived at Albergo Ristorante Garibaldi, a charming little restaurant in the town of Cisterna d’Asti. If you’re going to have your last meal, this was definitely the place to do it.
My captor had to call the restaurant days ahead to reserve our truffle, which prompted Scarpetta the Truffle Hunter (a possible new TV series?) to go out three nights in a row at midnight in the forests with his trusty truffle hunting dog (apparently truffle hunting boars are so last year). Finally on the third night, Little Shoe and his talented pup (valued at $20,000) found our truffle, and it was triumphantly placed on our table as we sat down. I felt like I needed to do The Truffle Shuffle in honor of its arrival.
White truffles sell for roughly $2000 per pound (the record price paid for one is $330,000!). While I’ve never understood how someone can spend $1500 on a purse or a pair of shoes, it seems absolutely acceptable to me to spend that kind of money on some fungus. And some fine fungus it was. It sits regally on your table like a bottle of wine, yours to enjoy throughout the course of the meal. Shaved onto delicate buttery taglioni, and then on an oven-baked egg, it may not have been an aphrodisiac but it was without question worthy of the hype.
And the best part? I lived to tell about it.
Albergo Ristorante Garibaldi
+39 141 979118
Via Italia, 1 – 14010 Cisterna D’asti