Let´s go for a truffle hunt

trüffel auf der hand mit trüffelhund_kl_opr

"Here´s the truffle" and Asia the truffle dog gets her reward

Yesterday I accompanied our guests to a truffle hunt for the first time.

For quite a while now we have been offering the truffle hunt to the participants of our Italian Cooking classes.

Up to now however it has always been my wife who had accompanied the truffle hunters and had been quite enthusiastic about it. High time for myself to join them at last. Together with professional truffle hunters and their dogs we ´ll start the quest for the precious tubers.

We met first with our guides Lena and Saverio at the antique city wall of Citerna a really pretty Umbrian hill town overlooking the Tiber valley.

(For those of you who are interested in art: It´s only a stone´s throw from

Monterchi where the world famous „Madonna del Parto“ from Piero della Francesca is to be seen. And by the way, Citerna´s little church hosts a real Della Robbia Sculpture)

From here we went in convoy to the truffle „plantation“ a little fenced in wood (Truffle places in the wild are top secret and by the tartufai, the truffle hunters their locations are revealed only within the closest circle of family members if they are revealed at all)

At the entrance to the truffle wood we came to know the truffle hunters and their dogs, Asia (a very experienced “truffle nose”) and Sandy (her still a little lumbering apprentice).  Some introductory explanations and off we go…

The dogs released from the leash are off so quick we can hardly follow.

A mere  hundred meters in front of us Asia starts to dig with all her force and Giovanni her “padrone” has a hard time holding her back                                                                                                                                                                                                           (It´s not that dogs eat up the truffles in a rush like truffle pigs would do and therefore are hardly used anymore. Yet a truffle is damaged quickly by sharp teeth or big paws)

Finally the truffle is dug out by one of our ladies following the experts instructions using the small truffle hunters spade. She hands it to the others. Still dirty and somewhat unimpressive it has the distinctive truffle scent and of course everybody of our group wants to smell it.

Of course Asia gets her dog cookie (no dog that takes pride in itself works without a reward)

That´s how it went on, while Saverio sometimes on the double continued to explain us more about truffles and truffle hunt.

After nearly an hour we had almost filled our bag. 360 gramms as we discovered later on the scales.

The dogs were still fit and would have happily carried on but we were rather yearning for a cappuccino before the truffle tasting started…

(To be continued)

der trüffelhund will seinen anteil_kl_opr

Also the truffle dog wants its share

About the truffle hunt

Depending on season and climate you can find different types of truffles, black summer truffle black winter truffle white spring truffle or the most valuable white winter truffle. Participants can watch the truffle hunters at work but are also invited to dig the truffles out of the earth with the truffle hunters spade, once the dogs have found them.

Finally it depends on the fine noses of the truffle dogs how many truffles end up in the truffle hunters bags.

After the truffle hunt participants will visit a small but exclusive enterprise which refines the fresh truffles.

Finally there will be a truffle tasting with different types of truffles and a variety of truffle products accompanied by some glasses of genuine local wine.

If you like to have more information about the truffle hunt simply ask us.

tartufaio gmit hund_kl_opr

Giovanni the "tartufaio", truffle hunter, with his dog Asia


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