What a super fun adventure! We drove about 3 hours from Florence to Norcia, a ancient walled picturesque village in the province of Perugia in Southeastern Umbria with history dating back 500 years before Rome. We stayed at a perfectly glorious hotel called Palazzo Seneca.
They were kind enough to arrange a truffle hunting expedition for us with Nicola. He had adorable truffle hounds, the female has been at it for many years and is now teaching the young black spaniel, at this day he was 9 months old and already being considered for special status.
He explained to us that any type of dog can learn to gather truffles and these two do remarkably well. They are given a command and off they go, scurrying around then suddenly digging and voila, they ran back like children at an Easter egg hunt with truffles in their mouths and were rewarded with dog treats. Nicola tries to intervene and assist with the digging so the truffles are not damaged. Fresh found & refrigerated they only last three days.
The cooking class was simple; make great food then shave or grate the fresh truffles on top. LOL well, I said, that’s my kind of cooking class. That evening we were treated to a seven course meal by Chef Flavio Faedi at Vspasia where everything is locally sourced and just outstanding and, of course, covered in truffles.