Truffle Report #1: Italy 2009

A very healthy rain arrived in Tuscany about a week before I did, somewhat improving truffle conditions after another very dry year. The last few days have been beautiful, but we seem to be moving into another rainy period which is good timing for truffle hunting, as long as it doesn’t get too wet.

Here are some of Giorgio’s new recruits, five-week-old truffle dogs. They are already being given bits of truffle treats and seem to like it.

Dinner my first night here in Tuscany at Giorgio and Paola’s home:

Tortellini in brodo

Fried egg with black truffle

Fried egg with white truffle

Wild chicories

Minced black truffle and hazelnut bruschetta

Georgio's eggs with white truffles

Georgio’s eggs with white truffles

Actual truffle collection for the Oliveto Truffle Dinners won’t begin for another two weeks. So I’ve been busy video-taping wine producers in the region for a new project in conjunction with the Oliveto Community Journal: a Wine Journal. The first day in Chianti, Roberto Stucchi and I went to Fontodi in Panzano to tape a segment with Giovanni Menetti. He showed us the vineyards, his massive compost heaps (Fontodi wines are now organic), and his herd of twenty-four Chianina (large white cattle with beautiful black eyes).

That led us to see Dario Cecchini, the beyond colorful Panzano butcher, for a visit and a terrific lunch of mostly meat.

bob & dario italy 2009

The next day I visited Felsina in Castelnuovo Berandenga, and on Saturday I visited our Brunello producer in Montalcino, Canalicchio di Sopra.

More soon. And Truffle Dinners beginning on November 17th!


Sent from my iPhone

2017-09-12T15:48:53-07:00November 2nd, 2009|2009, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Back on the Trail: Truffle Trip to Italy 2009

I’ll be leaving for Italy in late October and returning on November 16th, I presume, with a load of fine truffles to be served during our annual Truffles Dinners (November 17 – November 20, 2009). This trip is always filled with wonderful twists and turns and we plan on posting brief reports along the way here on the Oliveto Community Journal.

From the memory-lane-archives we’ve compiled a brief reel of Oliveto truffle stories covered by local and national television news networks over the past twelve years. Giorgio, the truffle hunter featured in many of the clips, has been a constant companion from the beginning. His knowledge and good humor, along with the hospitality and the warmth of his family, make this trip about much more than finding truffles and are the real reason I return year after year. Also of note: the six-week-old truffle pup shown in my pocket licking a truffle was named “Piccolo Bob”. Could there be a greater honor?

Truffle Dinners 2009

November 17th – November 20th

make a reservation

2017-09-12T15:48:55-07:00September 24th, 2009|2009, Events, Happened already...|0 Comments

Fresca Italia – Profile

Established 2001


Michele Lanza

Michele moved to the U.S. in 1998. He saw an opportunity in the Bay Area market for the cheeses he had grown up with in Italy. Fresca Italia is currently a four person company who all have a passion for great cheese. Michele goes back to Italy a few times a year to find new products and foster already established connections.

Future plans

To work with small-scale producers who keep tradition alive and provide unusual, excellent products. And to continue to find more products representative of Italian culture and make them available in the bay area while retaining a commitment to personal service.

Length of relationship with Oliveto

Since 2002


Brisbane, San Francisco County


Imported cheese. Secondary products: import olives, vinegar, olive oils, pastas, truffles, cured meats, and pastry


Restaurants and specialty food stores

2017-09-12T15:49:11-07:00February 8th, 2009|Fresca Italia, Suppliers|0 Comments