Looking for a truffle in Tuscany with an expert hunter (tartufaio) is a particular experience which allows to understand how nature is able to offer hidden excellences.
The truffle hunter, with his own dog, will show you the technics to hunt a truffle as to satisfy your choice!
After the hunting experience, let’s have a good meal where you can taste dishes based on truffle.
There are few kinds of mushrooms belonging to the Tuber type, commonly called Truffle. They belong to the Tuberaceae family, Ascomiceti’s category. Truffles have a hypogeal fruit-body, either subterranean, and they grew up spontaneously in the soil near the roots of some trees or shrubs, such as oaks and holm oaks, with which they establish a symbiotic relation.
With the word Truffle, we mean only the subterranean fruit-body which is found out thanks to the help of dogs and then picked up with the hands. Truffle is a precious and refined food, and consequently very expensive. Its typical penetrating perfume develops only after a ripening and has the purpose to catch wild animals such as pigs, wild boar, badger, dormouse and fox, although It lies underground.
Truffle is quite rare, and being highly appreciated in cookery, it can cost very high sums (some variety can reach Euro 4.000,00/kg). Italy is one of the major truffle producer and exporter. In the Italian territory it is possible to pick all the types of truffle used in gastronomy. The most important area of production of the precious white truffle are Alba and the province of Asti, in Piedmont, the area of San Miniato, San Giovanni d’Asso (between Siena and Montalcino), in Tuscany , the area nearby Acqualagna, in the province of Pesaro-Urbino and San Pietro Avellana, in the province of Isernia. Much more common is the black truffle, especially in Umbria and Tuscany.
Tartufaio is the person (hunter) who goes looking for such precious tuber, the truffle, with his own dog.
The only officially breed recognized for the truffle hunting is the Lagotto Romagnolo.
The Lagotto is an ancient Italian breed existing since XVI century in Comacchio and the lagoon near Ravenna, later, in XIX century it spread out in Emilia Romagna. It looks rustic, strong and well-proportioned and it is very useful for the hunting work due to it mid-size. It has an attentive expression, cleaver, vivacious. Such a dog can be employed to hunt any kind of truffle.
Anyway, breed is not important, since every breed, if trained in the good way, could be a potential truffle hunter.