Regional reminiscences: Molise, a land of truffles

Since its establishment, the Experimental Institute for Forestry had a peripheral operational section in Molise (San Pietro Avellana in the province of Isernia). During the periodic visits we had the perception that it was an area with a truffle vocation but no one knew this precious fruit of the earth.

Our nurseryman Quaranta told us that people were often seen arriving from Romagna who were looking for, with the help of dogs, a “stinking potato” which they said to use as a medicinal plant.
Suspicious, we left with Pino Crestini and, especially in the Cantaloupe wood, we found black and white truffles enough to solve the problem once and for all. Molise was an area where truffles could be found almost everywhere and soon became the most productive region of all the others.
Then the new Molise truffle hunters sprang up almost everywhere and we found in Aldo D’Andrea, then a cheesemaker of the State Company for State Forests, the ideal collaborator for the whole area. Aldo left his business to become, not only a truffle hunter, but also the collector who went from house to house to buy the product that he then exported to the north of the country. Thus was born a new important company in the sector: Profumo di Bosco dell’alto Molise.

After a short time we were able to learn more about the Molise truffle territories that were mapped by us and re-proposed in a precious scientific publication entitled: Ecology of the white truffle of Molise.
Since the truffle has always been unknown to the Molisans, even the local cuisine could not have sufficient experience to be able to use it for which it was decided to have a delegation of Tuscan chefs arrive on site. Precious lessons were taught and soon also in Molise it was possible to finally taste the delicacy of the noblest of the products of their land.
San Pietro Avellana, Carovilli, Agnone soon celebrated their exhibitions and fairs, as happened in central and northern Italy, and then the participation of this region in the National Association of Truffle Cities like Alba or Norcia, Acqualagna, Gubbio did not delay. or San Miniato.

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