Are you getting the idea to enter the magical world of truffles and start looking for it? In this page you will find a little guide with the essential information to be able to take the first steps within this sector made of passion and unmistakable flavors!
Many are mistakenly convinced that to find truffles you do not need any license but the truth is quite different since you need to be in possession of a valid badge for the search and collection of truffles.
This card is issued by the UTR (regional territorial office) of your province of residence. The card is valid for 10 years from the moment of issue and can only be obtained from those over 14 years. And if you are wondering yes, to get the card you will have to study and pass an exam (which we recommend not to underestimate since, in case of failure, it can be repeated only after 12 months).
For all information on training courses, places and exam dates, please contact your UTR.
The tools of the trade
Italian law requires truffle-eaters to use some specific tools for their collection. The most iconic tool is definitely the spade, a small hoe with a very particular shape that is used to move the soil so as not to ruin the truffle. In this regard, remember that it is mandatory to fill the hole after harvesting, so as to allow the growth of new truffles.
In addition to the spade, the use of a series of specific tools for the transport of the harvest is imposed, such as the bag made especially for truffles, jacket for truffle hunting, or baskets similar to those of the collection of mushrooms.
We also recommend the use of knee boots so you can face all kinds of terrain, and to dress with clothing suitable for the pitfalls of the forest. Since you will be dealing with thorns, insects and much more, it is also good to bring gloves for safe digging, a stick and first aid ointments for every eventuality.
Italian law provides that the search for truffles must be carried out only with the use of the dog and that it is specially trained. Being animals indispensable to find the precious hypogeal fungus, its research skills are fundamental for every truffle maker.
A good training since puppies, therefore, is very important for our best ally. For those who do not know how to train a dog in a professional way you can buy them already trained but be careful not to be fooled, if you have little experience try to contact people you can trust.
Generally every breed with a good nose is suitable for the search of truffles, but the skill of the individual dog depends on numerous factors, such as training, his intelligence, his level of concentration, dedication. Usually the most wanted breeds are the bracco, the pointer, the spinone, the cocker, the jack russel, the griffin and the Romagna lagotto.
How to find truffle
The most popular question that’s really hard to answer. Truffle hunting is a very complex activity and requires experience, dedication, attention and much more.
Starting this self-taught path is really difficult. Most truffle lovers start by following the advice and receiving help from relatives who pass on their knowledge of their territories and the secrets they have kept from generation to generation.
It’s important to keep in mind that each variety of truffles prefers a different soil and with a number of characteristics, over time you will be able to know your lands, to create a special relationship with your dog, to discover all the little tricks of this centuries-old craft thus obtaining the desired results. But remember: patience, passion and positivity are fundamental!
Truffle Hunting Experience: promotional packages to live an experience and experience this sector
For all those who want to enter this sector or who simply have the desire to live the exciting centuries-old tradition of truffle hunting, you can access numerous packages promoted by trufflers and companies that will make you live a real “truffle hunt” with an expert quarrymen and his faithful and skilled dog.
The duration of these visits varies according to who promotes the guided experience and very often it is also possible to have a tasting of typical truffle products. A practical and effective way to discover the whole world linked to the precious hypogeum mushroom and live a unique experience.
Below we recommend some guided tours promoted in Alba (Piedmont) and Acqualagna (Marche) that will take you to immerse yourself in the magical world of truffles.
In Alba you can take part in the “Alba Truffle Tour” that takes place in the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato territories, famous for the Alba White Truffle and the Piedmont Truffles.
A guided tour in search of the simulated truffle surrounded by nature with a “trifulau” (truffle maker in Piedmont) of high experience in which you will only need to be equipped with appropriate clothing according to the season (small umbrellas, k-way or jackets can always be useful). The duration of the visits is about two hours and, within their site, they present numerous types of offers also divided for groups and families.
In Acqualagna there are many “Truffle Experience” to discover. The duration is about 2 hours and gives one of the most intense emotional experiences that the territory can offer, through a beautiful walk in the woods and hills of Acqualagna with its explanation of the secrets of the search for the precious tuber hypogeal mushroom. Once the search for truffles has been completed, you will visit a local truffle processing plant, where they will explain all the processing processes from the raw material to the finished product (creams, sauces, slices, etc.). Then you are directed to a store located in the central square of Acqualagna, where you can have a complete tasting of truffle products. Who wants can complete the path with a lunch or dinner based on black truffle or white truffle in the restaurant Braceria da Plinc, located in the historic center of Acqualagna.