10.11.08: birthday dinner.

The last night of our honeymoon just happily fell on my birthday, and it was marked first by a plate of petit fours from our innkeeper Diana at breakfast, a lazy morning/afternoon of wandering around Acqui (for background on this fabulous little city, check out Diana’s article here), and eventually enjoying some of Baur B&B’s house wine while making and eating dinner.

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Salumeria Centrale, Acqui Terme, Italy

Our last day also marked the one day we were able to make it to Salumeria Centrale and finally sample some of their amazing hams.  Over the course of our shopping we picked up an etto or two of proscuitto di San Daniele (similar to that of Parma, but the pigs are fed different foods to give the meat a different taste), an etto of fromaggio piemontese (a local cheese that is similar to cheeses used in fondue, which is unsurprising given Piemonte’s proximity to Switzerland), and a mezzo kilo of ravioli di tartufo–that’s right, white truffle ravioli.

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The fresh pasta store: Italian fast-food.

The day's specials...

The day's specials...

I didn’t realize this until we were in Italy, but not only were we situated in prime truffle country, we actually were in Acqui for the start of white truffle season.  The big market is in Alba–the prince of Monaco was in attendance to mark the festivities, and it’s filled with purveyors tempting you with lots and lots of fresh white truffles.  We were thinking of going, but after driving to Asti the day before to go to Torino, Michael requested that we not make the journey.  Since we were able to prowl around Acqui instead (and get to Salumeria Centrale), I was OK with this–besides, it begs for a return trip there to haggle with the sellers in person.

As for our dinner that night, well, perhaps it is best to tell it in pictures.  You may recognize the Salumeria Centrale wrapper, as the blurred version is our Twitter image.  Enjoy!

Proscuitto di San Daniele...all wrapped up.

Proscuitto di San Daniele...all wrapped up.

Fromaggio Piemontese

Fromaggio Piemontese

White truffle ravioli, cross-section.

White truffle ravioli, cross-section.

White truffle ravioli, prepared with just a little butter.  Easiest.  Meal.  Ever.

White truffle ravioli, prepared with just a little butter. Easiest. Meal. Ever.

And a tease on the wine (these varietals really require a post of their own, especially where to source them here in the U.S.):

More detail comes to those who wait...
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