La storia del tartufo

A story that began long ago,
suggestions and poems

Suggestive hypothesis wants the presence of truffles already at the time of the Sumerians, around 1700 - 1600 BC. Pliny the Elder (79 AD) wrote about that in his Naturalis Historia, citing the "Tuber" in the diet of the Romans, Plutarch describes it as "protuberance of the earth (Tuber Terrae)", a combination of water, earth, fire and lightning. The poet Juvenal describes it as a precious fruit of a thunderbolt hurled by Zeus, attributing aphrodisiac qualities to that. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the truffle, present on the tables of priests and aristocrats, became a highly sought food to which special ecstatic effects were given, as sublime synthesis of the greatest pleasure of the senses. The triumph came with the Sun King, Louis XIV and the glories of Versailles.


Quoted from Moliere in the comedy "Tartuffe" (1664), in the eighteenth century the truffle became famous in the courts of Europe, where the hunting became a team game among the nobles of the palace, attended by guests and ambassadors. From here it is claimed soon also in the courts of Italy: written records tell us that an aphrodisiac dish of black truffles is always present during the love meetings of Giacomo Casanova. The poet George Gordon Byron used to look for creativity stimulated by its scent, Alexandre Dumas wrote that "making the history of truffles ... would take the history of world civilization". Divided among delights of the table and evocative powers truffles came up to us, enthusiastically quoted by artists and writers such as Cesare Pavese, Mario Soldati and others.


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