The Black Truffle of Norcia
It is one of the gastronomic delicacies of our country, a precious and very
sought-after product, a real gastronomic gem. Norcia's territory, and mainly
the part of it, that skirts the course of the rivers Nera
, as well as some zones in the mountains around Spoleto
full of truffles.
The Tuber Melanosporum Cittadini
, better known as Tartufo Nero
(Umbrian rare black truffle of Norcia),
grows from November to March, is black with shades from brown to purple to
reddish with a whitish veining. Its size varies from few centimetres in
diameter to the dimensions of an orange.
The existence of the truffle in Norcia's surrounding area has decisively
influenced the local gastronomy which obtains prestige and glory of the dishes,
that are enriched with the taste and the scent of the famous tuber.
Unlike the white truffle, the black one in order to exalt its characteristics
needs to be cooked and heated up, also if it remains uncooked in some dishes
without losing its taste characteristics.
The preparations, that allow best to taste the black truffle, are those handed
down by tradition like the pasta dish ''Strengozzi al tartufo
strengozzi are a type of homemade pasta, which is made only from water and
flour, similar to thick and irregular fettuccine. The dish is prepared in a
quite simple way, frying lightly garlic and a pinch of Cayenne pepper in a
generous amount of oil. At pleasure one can add an anchovy. After washing the
truffle it is grated and added to the very hot oil for some minutes. This is
mixed with the prepared strengozzi until the seasoning is well distributed.
The black truffles are delicious also with simple
Indeed the local and national gastronomy has worked out the whole aromas of the
truffle in rich and refined dishes, making it a practically indispensable
element of the most sought-after cookery.
The Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Nero di Norcia
In February takes place one of the most appreciated and visited exhibition
markets, the Mostra Mercato del Tartufo Nero di Norcia
totally dedicated to the truffle. The many stalls of the producers and
exhibitors of Tuber Melanosporum Cittadini
show it in all its facets.
They inform about the picking, the various uses in cookery, the tradition and
the history of this precious product.
Within the context of the event exhibitions and conferences are organized where
are discussed gastronomic topics as well as those concerning the culture of
picking truffles, an enormous resource of the territory.
The lentils of Castelluccio di Norcia
They are the best known and probably the best in Italy
. Some of their
characteristics make them unique on the national level, like their delicacy,
the diameter of scarcely two millimetres and their capacity to resist a long
period of conservation.
The cultivation of the lentils of Castelluccio
meets strictly biological
criterions, which is a rather old tradition and the result of the centuries-old
local culture. Besides the fields are subject to three-year rotation, and the
lentils are rotated with one year of wheat and one of pasture. The result is a
genuine and tasty lentil with a very tender peel and therefore it is not
necessary to soak them before cooking.
The fame of Norcia
in processing pork is attested by the term with which
are still denoted its products: the norcineria
Since ancient times the territory of Norcia was considered the best place and
the homeland of the masters in the art to prepare tasty and genuine sausages.
Still today the processing is done following traditional techniques, that are
those centuries-old ones which have helped to exalt the tastes handed down by
the great artisans of the past.
One of the most famous products is the ham Prosciutto di Norcia
was awarded with the mark of quality IGP
Protetta) already in 1998.
Among the factors, that contribute to make the salami and cold pork meats of
Norcia great protagonists of the table, the climate has an important role,
because it allows an optimum maturing which gives fragrances and tastes, that
surprise the palate.
Also the other products of pork are important: salami, sausages, capocollo,
bacon and lard deserve the greatest attention, as give evidence the many
gourmets who come to Norcia and don't let slip the opportunity to buy a good
store of the best norcineria products.
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