Photo Diary: Alba White Truffle Fair, Piedmont

Not about cheese, Photo Diary

Apologies once more for the irregularity of these posts. I think irregular may be the new regular.

This late post was partly because I had the good fortune to attend the Alba White Truffle Fair earlier this month. You can read about some of what I got up to at World Travel Guide.

From a cheese perspective, I spent one, glorious evening with some pancetta crudo, bread, and a slab of Castelmagno. My first time. It was wonderful, like a Caerphilly with attitude. GB cheesemakers: we need a domestic response.

I’m working on catching up with scheduled cheese posts, but until then here’re some images from the truffle fair:

Medieval shenanigans surround the fair, the highlight of which is a donkey version of the Palio di Siena.

Medieval shenanigans surround the fair, the highlight of which is a donkey version of the Palio di Siena.

The magical Alba White Truffle. Check out its current price per 20 grams at www.tuber.it. Click on the truffle stock market.

The magical Alba White Truffle. Check out its current price per 20 grams at http://www.tuber.it. Click on the truffle stock market.

Truffle Dundee makes a sale. All the truffle sellers are real characters.

Truffle Dundee makes a sale. All the truffle sellers are real characters.

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Professor Calculus says, “Just sniff it.”

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 Mandy Patinkin needs to up his truffle selling game

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Where do I get me one of those t-shirts?

The tshirt is only the beginning of how awesome this guy is.

No pigs used for truffle hunting in Italy, only dogs trained with truffle oil-doused tennis balls.

No pigs used for truffle hunting in Italy, only dogs trained with tennis balls doused with truffle oil. Training starts at 3 months, and the truffle dog is ready after three years. There is even a truffle dog university in Piedmont. 

Also for sale are a lot of mushrooms, salami, Piedmont's stellar cheeses, and artsy craftsy items.

Also for sale are a lot of mushrooms, salami, Piedmont’s stellar cheeses, and artsy craftsy items.

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"What do you mean 'no corkscrew'?"

“What do you mean ‘no corkscrew’?”

Next time: Appleby’s part deux

Photo Diary: Royal Bath & West Show

Photo Diary, Uncategorized

I had some cheese to review this week, but I unfortunately ate it all before I had a chance to photograph it. Therefore, here is some filler a photo diary from the recent Royal Bath & West Show – an agricultural show that, for the first time this year, incorporated the British Cheese Awards. I think they need to work on allowing the visiting public to try the competition cheese, rather than having them in a sort of plastic wrapped museum format, but I concede that I know nothing of the logistics that go into such an undertaking (1,000 + cheeses sent in for judging). That said, feels like there are tricks being missed. But it is only the first.

Mix of Somerset gentlefolk at Bath & West

Mix of Somerset gentlefolk at Bath & West

British Cider Championships held at Bath & West. Apparently, Bob Chaplin, of Doulting near Shepton Mallet, took the Fruiterers' Trophy for the Supreme Champion British Cider, for his Broadpool Cider dry. "This is the pinnacle", Bob said. "To have won the very first British Cider Championships is the high point of my cider-making career. There can't be any greater honour."

British Cider Championships held at Bath & West. Apparently, Bob Chaplin, of Doulting near Shepton Mallet, took the Fruiterers’ Trophy for the Supreme Champion British Cider, for his Broadpool Cider dry. “This is the pinnacle”, Bob said. “To have won the very first British Cider Championships is the high point of my cider-making career. There can’t be any greater honour.”

Bit of a rip off, if you ask me

Very nice, bit of a rip off

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Cider judging. I know a bloke what can knock you up one of those purple badges for a fiver.  Go to car park C, ask for Geoff.

Mighty cider selection available at the bar

Mighty cider selection available at the bar. “I’ll have an ‘alf of the Barn Owl, please, stout yeoman of the bar.”

Cider makers showing demonstrating how it's done

Cider makers demonstrating the traditional ways

Not very popular band, although I thought they sounded fine

The die hard fan

"Mm, do you have a bag with a dog on?"

“I’m looking for something very specific: a photograph frame for a portrait of a horse with a lime green border. I’ve looked everywhere, I’m at my wits end – can you help?”

Prize pigs doing what they do

Prize pigs

Prize cow

Prize cow

Look at the size of this!

Look at the size of this!

More prize livestock.

“Mm, good hooves…”

Clearly the owner is no fan of Keira Knightley

Clearly no fan of Keira Knightley

Another delicious, I mean, handsome looking beast

Another delicious, I mean, handsome looking beast

Buffing the undercarriage

Buffing the undercarriage…

The Conquering Cheddar: Quickes Vintage Cheddar from Devon. Congrats to Mary Quicke! It's a shame they didn't have time to truck some up to the show as the results are known only the night before.

The Conquering Cheddar: Quickes Vintage Cheddar from Devon. Congrats to Mary Quicke!

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Reserve Champ: Humming Bark by Carrigbyrne Cheese… intriguing little fellow

The King of Kings: Rosary Garlic & Herb by Rosary Goats Cheese - I'll be getting medieval on its ass pretty soon and no mistake.

The King of Kings: Rosary Garlic & Herb by Rosary Goats Cheese. Release the hounds.