I decided to meet Manuele outside Taste Vin for two reasons. First of all, Taste Vin is my wife’s (and mine) favourite restaurant in Asti.
I met Giorgio many years ago when I was teaching an English evening class in Canelli. Giorgio wanted to take foreign tourists in his woods hunting for truffles and explain as much as he could about truffles. This is the business he set up with his brother Natale back in 2002, Casa del Trifulau.
They say smell is the most evocative sense. “The strongest memory I have of my father going truffle hunting at night is the rich smell of coffee coming from the kitchen in the middle of the night”.
During the white truffle season which runs from October to December Cichin (short for Francesco in Piedmontese) sets off every night come rain or (moon)shine at around 3 am. His companion Chicco does not mind waking up early as fun in the woods is usually guaranteed. For around 5 hours every night they scour the area in search of the precious fungus.