Abruzzo is a region very rich in art and history, but most of all in nature. Known as the green region of Europe, it is home to some of the most important national and international nature parks. It is also said that the conditions are particularly suitable for the growth of the black truffle. Even though we rarely hear about the white truffle from Abruzzo, it is there and it convinces with its outstanding quality.
Talking about white truffles, Abruzzo is definitely not the first region that comes to the mind of experts. The black truffle is widespread in this area, so much so that it has been given the nickname "Black Diamond of Abruzzo". The area, a land that is characterised by its diverse composition of sea, hills and mountains, has a highly suitable soil for the spontaneous formation of many varieties of truffles.
The black truffle easily finds a suitable habitat for growth here and can grow in 35% of the territory. However, the white truffle comes in second place in Abruzzo, as it can be found in 27% of the area. The most important spontaneous formations of white truffles are mainly present in the province of Chieti, thanks to the particular hydrological structure of the area between the Sangro and Trigno rivers. Although they are partially shared with Molise, these waters make this macro-area the largest zone for truffle growth.
Truffles have been gathered in Abruzzo for over a century, and their culinary variations are common throughout the region. The first evidence of truffle harvesting dates back to 1800 and speaks of complex procedures for their collection and processing, or from the production of truffle liqueur to the use of truffles for meat preservation. Traditionally, the black truffle was even used by shepherds as a substitute for sour milk in the production of pecorino. Despite the excellent reputation of Abruzzo's black truffle, the region is still struggling to find its place in the national truffle scene.
But the estimates for the region speak for themselves: Abruzzo produces about 200 quintals of truffles every year. The region was able to get a good foothold in the market with this figure, and a number of legislative changes were made to regulate the collecting and promotion of truffles. The creation of an important truffle fair in Abruzzo and an annual promotion programme have also contributed to the development of one of the region's most potentially profitable outputs.
A major problem of the white truffles of Abruzzo is the export and sale of truffles from other regions and their commercial prestige. Therefore, it is a real pity that a land with an old tradition of truffle hunting, such as Abruzzo, is still far away from its real potential. So the next time you hear about the white truffle, think of Abruzzo, because it has excellent white truffles.