Hunting for truffles
Truffle gathering is called "hunting": here the main role in the search for a valuable mushroom is assigned to a dog, and instead of a gun the hunter uses a special device to extract the mushroom from the ground.
Do you want to diversify your holiday non-standard activities and spend time in the countryside in pleasant company in search of hidden under the ground treasures? We invite you to the campaign for mushrooms. Or more precisely, on a truffle hunt in the region of the Tuscan city of Pisa.
A hike in the woods for truffles is called a hunt. And the comparison to a treasure hunt comes to mind because of the value of the mushroom, which grows underground at a depth of two to forty or sometimes more centimeters. In Italy truffles grow all year round, but depending on the time of year its varieties differ: the most valuable, with a strong aroma and delicate flavor is white truffle, the season of its gathering from September to the end of December, and the cost sometimes runs into thousands of euros.
The province of Pisa is famous for the white truffle Tuber magnatum Pico, the most valuable variety of this underground mushroom. All kinds of truffles grow here, but if you are lucky with the white one, the reward is substantial. For example, in 2007, a white truffle weighing almost 1.5 kilograms was found in the forests of the region, and its price at auction was 330,000 dollars.
Hunting for truffles is a walk through the woods in the company of a specialist hunter and his faithful four-legged helper. In Italy it is forbidden to search for truffles with pigs, though historically they, and wild boars to be exact, have been credited with finding this valuable fungus which grows underground.
Collecting truffles somewhat reminds us of the familiar mushroom hike: a pleasant walk through the woods in the hope of finding a ceps. Only in contrast to the traditional mushrooms, truffles are not gathered, they are hunted! Yes, a trip to the woods for truffles is called a "hunt." But instead of a gun the "hunter" has special devices for accurately pulling mushrooms out of the ground, and not he, but his faithful dog has the main role: to find the precious mushroom. In the case of truffles, the search is done by a dog under the watchful eye of its owner.
His task is to use a special shovel to get the precious mushroom in time from the ground, so the four-legged helper does not have time to damage or eat it. Then you need to carefully cover the place where you found it in order to save the fungus: Next year a new crop will grow here again. Truffle hunting is strictly regulated; only dogs can be used to find them, and the best breed is called "lagotto romagnolo", a type of dog that has been existing in Italy since ancient times and is famous for its excellent sense of smell.
Truffles should be collected in the company of a knowledgeable person: truffles, although they grow underground, but they are mushrooms, and among them there are also poisonous ones. Finding truffles is a pleasant walk in a company of a connoisseur and his four-legged friend, where everyone has his own tasks: the dog looks for truffles, the hunter closely observes him, doesn't let him out of his sight. At the same time he has time to tell a lot of interesting things: secrets, myths and truth about truffles and, of course, his own story. And after the hunt - a well-deserved lunch!
An unforgettable experience and impressions awaits you! Meeting and getting to know the hunter and his four-legged friend over a light aperitif, a nice walk in the woods, interesting stories, watching the dog looking for and finding the precious mushrooms as the hunter retrieves them. To conclude, a delicious lunch of local truffle dishes accompanied by excellent Tuscan wine, which successfully enhances the taste of the food served. What could be more pleasant to have a pleasant and sincere company at the table after a walk in the fresh air in the woods. We are waiting for you!