“È arrivato l’autunno,” fall is here and it is time to experience the best Italian seasonal ingredients and recipes. Fill your basket with chestnuts and nuts, porcini mushrooms, sweet tangerines, apples, oranges, grapes, and of course, white and black truffles!
FALL IN LOVE WITH “AUTUNNO”
Treat yourself with the delicious culinary traditions of Italy’s harvest season. Autumn is an idyllic time to visit the country. Local markets offer a stunning selection of seasonal fresh produce. Along the streets, moreover, you will be surrounded by the sweet aroma of roasting chestnuts; the “caldarroste,” a delicious Fall favorite. This is also the season of “tartufo bianco,” the precious and rare white truffle, usually from late September to early November.
This “diamond” of the culinary world is a very exceptional ingredient. This Italian gem is incredibly versatile and can enrich a wide range of dishes during the Fall season. You can enjoy the extraordinary taste of shaved truffle on a traditional pasta or risotto. Relish the heady aroma of white truffles with a decadent plate of “Tagliolini al tartufo bianco.” You will need only tagliolini pasta (preferably handmade), butter, parmigiano, pepper, and – of course – a generous dusting of shaved white truffles. Pair this delicacy with a nice glass of red wine. Magnifico recommends Tartufi Jimmy, who provides a unique selection of high-quality white and black truffles.
GRAPE HARVEST AND OLIVE PICKING
“I love the tired season,” wrote the Italian poet Vincenzo Cardarelli, “…with the grapes already gathered. Nothing is more like me, nothing consoles me more, than this air that smells of must and wine, than this old October sun that shines upon the looted vines.” Indeed, Fall is a time of two ancestral traditions across the Peninsula’s countryside: “Vendemmia” (the grape harvest) and “raccolta delle olive” (the olive picking). Many families, from North to South, have small vineyards and olive trees; during this season, extra virgin olive oil and wine are produced for the year. The dates for vendemmia and raccolta are flexible; they depend strictly on weather conditions and seasonal temperatures. Italians take these rites very seriously: olive oil and wine are two of the few things we can all agree on - aside from the “gli Azzurri,” the national soccer team!