Flying over Piedmonte this time of the year is beautiful as its surrounded on three sides by the alps, borders the French rhone alps and provencal alps, the geography of Piedmont is 40% mountainous, along with extensive areas of hills and plains.
If you wonder why you’ll find truffles in the Langhe you need to consider the Po. You can’t see the Po river that flows between the alps but it is incredibly rich, important and not only as a source of water and tributaries but as a sanctuary for wildlife . Furthermore the Po has some well-known fog (micro climate) where some important producers of the worlds greatest hams work.
In Zibello some of the most important legs of ham were born and you find cellars filled will legs for some of the most notable chefs around the globe. The great Po’ river flows behind an unpretentious village called Polesine. The highlight is the Pallavicini, the antica corte pallavicina that has been completely restored by Massimo Spigaroli, who is the guardian of the secrets of culatello. Massimo’s says: “speriamo che ci sia la nebbia” as we hope that it is going to be foggy.
For many newcomers it might sound strange but the producers cellars let the fog help cure the legs of prosciutto and the November fair is porky: http://novemberporc.it/it-IT/home-page.aspx
A trip to Parma is worthwhile and in San Secondo Parmense you can find the spalla di San Secondo. A pork speciality made with the front shoulders of the animal there is a cooked version served warm with torta fritta, an earthy fried bread. The flat land around Parma do not produce great wines, but if you come across the wine maker is Mr Giuseppe Tomasetti from the Tomasetti winery: http://www.tomasettifamilywinery.com/en/