Mr Filbert's Italian Black Truffle Mixed Nuts, inspired by Assisi, Umbria, Italy
I have often said that a good view after a long, hot walk, accompanied by a cool refreshment, is one of the most underrated wonders of the world. Well, that’s exactly what I am enjoying at present: sat on a rooftop terrace in a quaint, traditional bar in Assisi, a small town in the Italian region of Umbria, enjoying a delicious tipple and a handful of local bar snacks.
It’s been a busy trip so far: I came to Italy for a spot of sightseeing, but I was sure to include this particular destination in my itinerary for one good reason: this province in Italy is widely known as one of the best locations to forage Black Truffles in Europe, and so far, it has certainly lived up to this impressive moniker.
Truffles have always been a particular interest of mine, they are a quirky and uniquely flavoured ingredient to cook with. However, I never thought I would enjoy collecting an ingredient more than I would cooking with it, but the events of today have proven me wrong. Setting off early into the mist, with my old friend Giovanni and his keen-nosed hound, we spent a morning strolling through the sunlight trees, exchanging opinions on the best way to prepare a traditional Ragu, following the snuffling Stefano as he sought out the region’s famous Black Truffle.
Now I find myself enjoying a refreshing drink, gazing out on the sun-kissed hills and countless vineyards of Umbria, while I roll an earthy truffle in my palm, inhaling its distinctive scent and pondering how best to use this special ingredient in my tasty snacks. ‘I wonder whether this strong and unique flavour would partner well with a salted nut mix. The strength of the flavour combined with the saltiness of the nuts would be a match made in heaven!’.
With this exciting thought in mind, I open my notebook, and write: ‘Italian Black Truffle Mixed Nuts’.