Sniffing for truffles, Brufa, the class’s official truffle-hunting dog guide, perked her head up, wagged her tail, and started digging. Matteo Bartolini, owner of the truffle farm and agriturismo Ca’ Solare, and his father came over, retrieved the truffles that Brufa had dug up, and showed them to the Umbra’s HSIT 350: History of Food and Culture in Italy students.
Last Friday, February 9, the students took a trip to Ca’ Solare, located just outside of Città di Castello, to learn more about truffles, 90 percent of which come from Italy. Ninety-eight percent of that 90 percent come from Umbria alone. On this excursion, they were given a short lesson about truffles and truffle-hunting before going out into the surrounding fields to search for the truffles themselves. The students finished the day with a meal prepared by the cooks at Ca’ Solare.
“It felt special that they were willing to cook the most expensive truffle for us in the gnocchi they prepared, and they were really welcoming and passionate about what they do and teaching that to other people,” said Harvard student Max Benegas. “To see that enthusiasm made the trip that much more enjoyable.”
To read more about the Umbra Institute’s Food and Sustainability Studies Program, click here.