This post is not exactly Romagna food notes.
Tizi’s family on her mother’s side is from le Marches, a contiguous region known for white truffles. There are truffles in Romagna, too, any Romagnolo will tell you. We’ve been to eat, for example, in Sant’Agata in Feltria, which, as far as I can tell, is a truffle capital in Romagna. Truffles are on the menu in all restaurants we like around here. But we save ourselves for days like yesterday. Because in le Marches, we have a huge advantage.
Cousins. Locals who know where to go.
In fact, I got into the take-people-to-Italy-to-eat business because of these cousins. Every year we came over here, the cousins would say, This year we have a new place for fish. This year we have a new place to eat spaghetti alla carbonara. This year we have a new place… And they would take us to their new favorites, places that were, in a word, mind blowing. (Okay, that’s two words.) My thought always was, No one from back home in the US would ever find a place like this. So when I got relatively up to speed with the language and the geography and the back roads, I started bringing people, groups of 10, 12, 2, 4, 6. Saying, Hey, let’s drive the back roads. Let’s eat like a local.
Yesterday, Acqualagna. It’s a hot zone for truffles. So hot there’s an annual festival.
It’s our sixth or seventh visit to this town. Beginning from Pesaro we drive to Fano, past Fossombrone, along the Metauro River, through Furlo and into Acqualagna.
Into Aqcualagna where we went to Ristoranate Lampino. The lady of the house greets and waits tables, the husband hunts truffles with eight dogs (but no gun), and the mother works in the kitchen.
Above, the truffles. Below, some of the usual truffle dishes in the region:
Scrambled eggs with shaved truffle on crescia, crostino con creme di tartufo, crostino con porcini.
Lard and crescia. If you’re freaked out by lard, get a grip. And take a bite.
Ravioli with shaved truffle
Tagliatelle with shaved truffle
Exhausted. But not defeated. As luck would have it, there were fresh porcini mushrooms on the menu today too.
Tagliatelle with porcini
Truffles are expensive. The locals will warn you of bad business. You can buy faulty truffles that come from China. To get the good stuff, we want help.
Our lunch today was at Lampino in Acqualagna. The cook. Thank you, Signora: