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Truffles in Florence in Oct???

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We'll be in Florence for a few days in mid October. Any suggestions in which restaurants speciailze in white truffles? Or which towns we can drive to and find some?

Thanks

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  1. Mid-October is a little early in the season for white truffles. The availability of white truffles will depend on the fall weather.

    White truffles can sometimes be found in southern Tuscany. San Giovanni d'Asso (a small town south of Siena) is the center of truffle hunting in the area and has a modest "tartufo" museum.

    Here is a 2005 NY Times article on San Giovanni d'Asso and truffle hunting in southern Tuscany:

    http://travel.nytimes.com/2005/07/10/...

    7 Replies
    1. re: DavidT

      Ive had white truffles in Florence in the past - they arent necessarily local and when they are in season are likely to be offered by many restaurants. Like David said, its just a function of the season and weather whether they will be available.In my case they were offered on a dish at Cinghiale Bianco in the Oltrarno, but I dont recommend that restaurant.

      1. re: jen kalb

        From the middle of October to mid December, there are more white truffles in Florence, by five-fold, than were found in Piemonte that year.

        Native Florentines rarely eat white truffles. The price is much too high for them and the truffles are not used very much, if at all, in traditional Tuscan cuisine.

        Truffles are eaten almost totally by visitors and restaurateurs are only too happy to oblige (I know this for a fact) with a huge price. Sometimes the truffles are from southern Tuscany. Most of the time the truffles come from a former country across the Adriatic, now several countries. Rarely do white truffles come from Piemonte which is really the only place that has white truffles worth considering. Most visitors, never having had a fresh white truffle in Piemonte, don't know the difference. The same thing exists in New York at very high end (e.g.pricey) restaurants. There the truffles do come from Piemonte... but the truffles are old. On the other hand, in New York or Florence, people who have them can brag to their friends that "they had pasta with tons and tons of white truffles shaved over the pasta" and "it was so reasonable in price." Sort of like people saying they had a fantastic three course fish/shellfish dinner in Venice and it only cost 18 E. Sorry to be so cynical, but that's the situation.

        Go to Piemonte and you'll see what a white truffle is. Other than that, save your money.

        1. re: jen kalb

          Why don't you recommend Cinghiale Bianco?

          We had a great meal there in 1992. It was also great in 2002, but this time they had a separate tourist section where they sat us.

          1. re: RichardNYC

            I dont recommend it first because several of the dishes my family ordered were not very tasty (although others were fine) and also because we got visibly differential treatment from others - specifically I watched the waiter shave about three times more of the white truffles on someone else's pasta than on my portion - for someone looking for a truffle dish, this could be disappointing.. This was around the same time you were last there - there are plenty of good restaurants in Florence and I feel no desire to recommend this one which seemed to be overly tourist impacted..

            1. re: jen kalb

              Jen, where are the latest don't miss spots in Florence?

              1. re: sockster

                you better look at the recent posts - I havent been in a few years so am not qualified to recommend the latest... hopefully someone else will pick this up.

                Have you been to florence before? are you interested in traditional florentine or places which are trying to branch out a bit? Our two favorites from our last trip, Da Mario near the San Lorenzo main market and Il Fagioli on Via dei Tintori, between Santa Croce and the river, are both very traditional florentine/tuscan cooking.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  I haven't been to Florence in MANY years....Rome yes, Florence no... We love to eat where the "locals" eat, tradtional food, and would love to find a cutting edge place as well.