Fresh Eats: Truffletopia at Osteria Tulia

Alba truffle - whote truffle - truffle dishes at Osteria Tulia, Naples - TruffletopiaWith the onset of more temperate weather, one of the culinary world’s true treasures, truffles, come into season. To celebrate the beginning of this rare and delicious fungus, Osteria Tulia and Chef Vincenzo Betulia will bring a week filled with black and white truffle dishes for the inaugural Truffletopia, beginning November 24.

   “Truffles, to me, are something extremely special,” says Betulia, “so we thought, let’s do a fun kickoff to the truffle season.”

   Being an osteria, Betulia specializes in Italian-sourced truffles. Prized throughout the world, the white Alba truffle (tartufo bianco d’Alba), found in the Piedmont region in Northern Italy, is distinctive for its powerful herb and garlic-scented aroma, and are one of he most expensive foodstuffs in the world, commanding prices upwards of $3,000 per pound. For black truffles (tartufo nero), Betulia is sticking with his native land, using the perle of Norcia, the burgundy truffle found in Umbria.

   “In Italy they celebrate food. They have what’s called a sagra, which is kind of based off a pagan ritual, where the people of the town celebrate whatever’s indigenously growing at the time,” says Betulia, adding “if it is tomatoes, the whole town will throw a celebration called the sagra of the tomato. Truffletopia is the same thing. Season is short, it’s a highly prized food…we really wanted to celebrate that.”

Tortelloni - Osteria Tulia - Truffletopia

   During Truffletopia, Osteria Tulia’s blackboard specials will be “truffles, everything truffles,” while standard menu items can be supplemented with truffles at the diner’s request. Truffletopia will run through November 30, marking Osteria Tulia’s unofficial kickoff to truffle season. And though rumor has it that the Italian truffle season is strong this year, Betulia warns, “when they run out, so do I.” So get them while they’re fresh.


   On an additional festive note, beginning November 24, Osteria Tulia will be ringing in the holiday season with its special Tulia Nog ($13), served through December. Made with Montenegro Amaro, Rye, house ginger syrup and St. George spiced pear liqueur, this is a fresh take on eggnog that is sure to enhance the holiday spirit.


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