A lion's head tops the entrance of several houses of the old city of Alba. There is certainly a reason for this choice but I have been unable to find out which one. I have taken only two photos but they are much more. Each of them has a different style. On the first photo, it looks almost like a sun while on the second it is more like a gargoyle that might spit some water !
Galetti and ovuli
The first photo shows in the center Galetti or Garitole, 18 euros per kilo are Cantharellus cibarius
In the series of 6 books "Funghi dal Vero", from Bruno Cetto gives several other names, used in various parts of Italy : Gallinaccio, Galet, Finferlo, Giallino. It is called both in French and in English by the same name, Chanterelle.
But what are these "ovuli" on the right of the photo, in the background ? The second photo shows them better. They are the famous Amanita Caesarea, hence the price ! I Bruno Cetto again gives several other names used in Italy : Ovulo, Uovolo, Ovolo buono, Bolé, Fong ross, Fungo reale, Cocco, Amanita dei Cesari, Amanita imperiale. In French, it is called Oronge or Amanite des Césars and in English Cesar's Amanita. On Alba's market, that was the only place where they were for sale. Not very common ! Of course, we bought half a kilo as for so many years, we had always wanted to taste this delicacy.
The third photo shows a close up of Cesar's Amanita. It must be outlined that it is the only Amanita which is yellow under the cap. This allows to distinguish it easily from its poisonous counterpart, %Amanita muscaria, snow white underneath.
However, to gaze at Cesar's Amanita is fine but the purpose it to taste it ! That is what we did once back home. The mushrooms were sliced, cooked for a few minutes and drained. The drained pieces were then thrown in cream, which it colored in bright orange (last photo). Once heated, seasoned and added with some Cognac, you can believe me, that was really fantastic. I now know why the Roman emperors were so fond of these mushrooms !
Moorish look !
On via Vittorio Emanuele, at the corner with via Vittorio Belli, stands a building with an unusual feature, that has almost a Moorish look. It is build with red bricks and yellow bricks, used to make a design. Its basement is a luxury shop, "Salmoraghi & Vigano". It might be il Palazzo dei Conti Belli (the Palace of the Belli Counts), built in the Middle Ages, which would make sense as it is in front of via Vittorio Belli !
Pretty pink house
Not far from de hospital, a pretty little house stands on a tiny square, almost a widened street crossing. Though in the very city center, it has a small yard with a few trees. The green of the trees makes a pleasant contrast with the pink of the house. It must be very pleasant to live in this house !