Truffles have had for many years a special relationship with the world of cinema, both Italian and foreign. There are, in fact, many movies where the precious fungus is featured in cameos or scenes, with actors either smelling or grating it.
Italian cinema has always paid a special attention to truffles. A striking example is the Italian director Marco Ferreri, who dedicated two of his films to this precious fruit of the earth: "L’uomo dei cinque palloni" of 1965, episode part of the film "Oggi, domani, dopodomani", played by the great Marcello Mastroianni, and "La Grande Abbuffata" of 1973, played by the great actors Ugo Tognazzi, Marcello Mastroianni, and Philippe Noiret. In “L’uomo dei cinque palloni”, there are two scenes featuring white truffles: in the first one Marcello Mastroianni goes to the market, stops at the stand that showcases white truffles, smells a few of them, and finally buys them. In the second one, in a very funny scene, Mastroianni is sitting at the table for dinner and, looking at the dog, repeats loudly the cost at each shaving of fine white over his plate as he grates it. In “La Grande Abbuffata” the Italian director displays the truffle in the scene where Tognazzi is preparing Paté de Canard. From Marco Ferreri we jump to 1986 with Luca Verdone, director of the comedy hit "Sette chili in sette giorni," starring Carlo Verdone and Renato Pozzetto. In this scene, we see Renato Pozzetto inside a gourmet store ordering a variety of foods, including two packets of truffle cream. He's unaware of Carlo Verdone watching him shopping and when he suddlenly asks what he is doing, Pozzetto, surprised by his presence, answers: "Well, things were taking long, so we wanted to get something to whet our appetites." Then Verdone says: "You're setting up a nice dinner." Pozzetto replies: "A snack indeed". To that, Verdone exclaims: "Are you kidding me? Crab paté, truffles, salmon, caviar... you call it a snack?”
Also outside of Italy, truffles are featured in many movie scenes. How can we forget the guinea fowl with truffles in "Notting Hill" of 1999, with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, or the lunch prepared by Babette for her guests in the movie "Babette's Feast" of 1987, where the protagonist prepares delicious crusted quail stuffed with black truffles? An entire movie has been dedicated to truffles in 2008: "Truffle". The French-Canadian science fiction film is set in Montreal in 2017. Here, due to global warming, black truffles spontaneously proliferate in the basements of the city buildings, thanks precisely to the favorable temperatures and weather conditions. However, the movie that beautifully captures the essence of truffles, is undoubtedly the American movie of 2007 "No Reservations," starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart. There are two scenes featuring the prized fungus. The first one shows the female lead, Catherine Zeta-Jones, meeting a "truffle dealer" to examine the truffles he bought for sale. The second one is very funny: Zeta-Jones is busy cooking a dish with truffles and is being helped in minor tasks by Aaron’s daughter. When she looks away, the young girl smells the truffle that is being used and, feeling its strong scent and finding it disgusting, throws it in the trash. When Zeta-Jones returns and can’t find the truffles, she asks the little girl what happened. She then sees them in the trash and quickly removes and places them in a box filled with rice for optimal preservation; Aaron Eckhart sees the whole scene and laughs as the kid is astonished. Here are some scenes from the movies mentioned above.
There are many famous people in the world who love truffles, whether white or black, as proven by the various international fairs, especially that of Alba, where one can run into well-known personalities, both Italian and foreign. Giacomo Morra is the creator of the duo truffle-VIPs, for he is the one who started sending complimentary white truffles to celebrities, such as presidents, actresses, and American athletes.
In the footsteps of Morra, Urbani Tartufi too donated the prized white truffle at gala events and exhibitions to well-known personalities from the world of politics, cinema, sport, and entertainment (listed in the pictures below), including American presidents: Barack Obama as well as Reagan and Bush, the late Princess Diana, American tycoon Donald Trump, or the famous Italian actress Sophia Loren.