The Tuber magnatum is the most valuable truffle because it has a distinctly alluring perfume and although its taste is delicate it fulfils the quintessential sensation we expect of a 'truffle'. Due to the high price it commands, secrecy abounds.
After completing a master’s degree in Sustainable Mountain Development at University of Highlands and Islands Scotland, Griffiths became a ‘mountain writer’ writing for The Huffington Post and smaller publications, reporting on mountain issues with a focus on mountain foods.
In Italy she lectures in Culture and History of Food in Italy and Post-productivism in Rural Environments, and works as translator for Monti Sibillini National Park. Her first non-fiction book, “Walking in the Sibillini, A Celebration of a Distinctive Mountain Culture” was published 2014, available in Italian and English. With a background as a scriptwriter, having had her plays produced professionally in London, Berlin, Los Angeles, and Toronto, as well as five commissioned film scripts, Griffiths is now concentrating on mountain writing within an environmental anthropological perspective.
How many couples are so perfectly matched? Indeed, is a Barolo from Northern Italy really the best partner? Possibly, but which one? There are different "schools" of approach for the Barolo; one is traditionalist, and the other responding to changes in palate is more contemporary, but either way they are expensive and for a novice like myself it seems to present too much margin for error.
08/07/2015 12:40 EDT
Will mountains become hotbeds of authoritarian tendencies since climate warming is so pronounced? We are culturally induced to associate mountains with freedom, and many massifs in Europe were famous centres for rebellion against the fascists in WWII. What psychological reaction to climate change may people in mountains have?
07/09/2015 12:42 EDT
Any mountain meal in Europe is likely comprised of some local ingredients. Taking it one step further, the Monti Sibillini National Park in Central Italy is offering a pure mountain taste. The project called "Menu of the Sibillini" has challenged restaurants in the park to create a dish whereby every single ingredient is from the park.
06/12/2015 05:40 EDT
In Montefortino, a gloriously beautiful mountain village in Central Italy, Alice Alessandrini started a mountain food label in 2012. Her pasta making business Regina dei Sibillini produces wheat in the foothills and also at 1000 meters altitude in the Monti Sibillini National Park.
05/06/2015 12:37 EDT
The Monti Sibillini National Park, collaborating with University of Camerino, is conducting a project experimenting with preserving mountain meadows in five sites. Two of these focus on combatting Brachypodium genuense. Since domestic animals are averse to this grass these sites are initially mown, and local people are given incentives to help maintain sheep and horses in these locations
04/02/2015 04:50 EDT
Why do some foods make us feel good? Is it cultural or chemical? Or something else... At the 17th Festival del Tartufo Vero in Montefortino, a little gem of a village perched in the Apennine Mountains...
03/03/2015 12:45 EST
Agroecology blends ancient practices with scientific insights. A tasty example of agroecology is the cultivation of truffles, a wild mountain food, which grows best without chemicals and enhances biod...
02/06/2015 10:22 EST
If you've overdone it at Christmas but you want to have a stunning, easy to prepare luxury meal for New Year's, think truffles, think Rossini...
12/29/2014 06:14 EST
Climate warming means countries that never cultivated truffles now have the appropriate climate conditions. For example, the North American truffle, the Oregon White, which was originally discovered in California in the 1890s, is now being farmed in southern B.C. The new cultivating countries have a new approach to truffle production. This sound good, but is it? And who monitors what you are eating?
12/05/2014 12:03 EST
The mountains of the Apennines in Central Italy are the heartland for truffle culture. Although there are over 15 types of truffles, the main truffles here are those that consumers come into contact with most often.
10/31/2014 06:21 EDT
What could we do in Canada to protect our mountain forests from detrimental land use changes, increase their cultural value and slowly lessen some dependence on agricultural land? Could Scandinavian Mountain Cattle find free-range forest homes in some of Canada's mountains?
10/05/2014 07:28 EDT
Research is showing that high-risk sport can serve many other personal goals beyond thrill seeking. For example Castanier et al. found that 'escape self-awareness' was a key motivation in their study of high-risk sportsmen. Escape self-awareness means, as the term suggests, turning your thinking away from yourself by engaging in high-risk activities that absorb all concentration.
09/04/2014 12:48 EDT
Eating the mountain way would mean we eat meat, but only top-quality, from small-scale local producers with animal welfare at heart. Yes, it costs more so we eat a lot less. We return to minimal meat consumption, just as history and mountains demonstrate humans have done in their most natural state for many thousands of years.
08/01/2014 05:23 EDT
When it comes to the destruction of nature, we all know Canada does its share. The real question is when will Canada becomes an active player, working with those who are moving mountains in the original sense -- tackling a huge challenge, trying to preserve mountains and their benefits for the future of humanity.
06/30/2014 11:03 EDT
Every one knows about the importance of biodiversity, but how many of us have a one-to-one personal experience with a rare species? For myself, like most readers I suspect, biodiversity was a global i...
06/06/2014 05:02 EDT
Italy is lucky to have wild truffles all year round. With impatience I've been awaiting the spring truffle or the Tuber aestivum, which grows here in the Sibillini Mountains of Central Italy. These truffles grow closer to the surface than the more expensive black or white truffle that are both harvested in the autumn and into the New Year.
05/01/2014 05:05 EDT
Recently I returned to the bakery in the Sibillini mountains where they harvest their wheat by hand to buy some flour. None was for sale, so many people want to buy their flour they couldn't begin to...
04/03/2014 11:51 EDT
The stunningly scenic mountain village of Montefortino in the Sibillini Mountains Central Italy, held its 16th annual Festival of Real Truffles, 'Festival del Tartufo Vero dei Monti Sibillini', often...
03/05/2014 04:33 EST
Canada's natural gas extraction is not an issue that will be resolved quickly. While this conflict between short term economic benefit, and sustainability or responsible behavior continues in Canada, there is a comparatively simple positive step we could take to help counter the negative history currently being inscribed in the annals of time. Many of Canada's mountains are still intact or relatively environmentally healthy.
02/04/2014 05:32 EST
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