Art and culture

Characters of truffles

March 19, 2011

The truffle market has had and still has its kings and princes, some mythical characters.

Giacomo Morra, hotel and restaurant keeper in the “Savona” hotel in Alba, was the pioneer of this adventure, the undisputed king, the symbol of truffle. He was the first to understand it enrmous touristic and commercial possibilities, and gave it an aristocratic name and surname: “truffle of Alba”. Giacomo Morra started, in the Twenties, a true success story, giving the truffle special attention and care. He invented the fair, promoted it, and let the world know the truffle, findind and giving away beautiful ones.

To promote the truffles of Alba and to give national and international press the opportunity of knowing their qualities, in 1949 Giacomo Morra started sending the best truffle of the year to a famous politician, actor, athlete; that year the truffle was given top the actress Rita Hayworth.

In 1951 the truffle was sent to the President of USA, Harry Truman; in 1953 it was Winston Churchill‘s turn, in 1954 Marylin Monroe and Joe di Maggio‘s, in 1955 the emperor of Ethiopia, Hailè Selassiè‘s, in 1959 the President of USA, Eisenhower‘s, and Kremlin Nimkita Krusciov‘s. In 1965 the truffle was sent to the Pope Paul VI.