WHO KNEW—AND DOGS RATHER THAN PIGS AS TRUFFLE HUNTERS? BET THEY EAT FEWER TRUFFLES THAN THE PIGS WOULD! 🙂
Truffle hunter Nikola Tarandek urges on his black Labrador, who scratches furiously at the moist soil of Motovun Forest in Croatia.
We are in the hinterlands of Istria, a diamond-shaped peninsula that juts into the Adriatic Sea, exploring one of the richest grounds for premium white truffles – long overshadowed in fame but not quality by the truffle mecca of Alba in the Piedmont region of Italy. Nero has caught the scent at the roots of an oak, sending up clumps of dirt as Tarandek twists a spade into the black earth.
The commotion yields only a tiny tuber not even worth taking back to town. Other truffles that Nero sniffs out turns up spoiled. But it is just the beginning of the season, and within weeks Tarandek, who runs a side-business taking visitors on truffle-hunting tours, will be bringing fist-sized truffles home to market.
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