I always thought Truffle Hunts were sort of a joke. You go to the forest with a bunch of eager puppies to look for truffles planted there the morning of. Sort of like finding the Matzah during Passover, except for the forest, and eager part. The only way to get my kids to look for Matzah these days is if we plant a white truffle along with it. So after all those trips to Italy including Piedmont, I never imagined that I would get my truffle hunt certificate in Croatia. Husband, Father, Lover of Pizza, Tour Guide, Truffle Hunter. My tomb stone is starting to resemble the Stanley Cup.
Did they plant them? I dont have the slightest idea. Was it fun? You bet ya! Its not just about the hunt, but the entire experience. During the hunt I was honestly more concerned about dodging dog poop than look for truffles in that terrain (they were VERY eager). Black truffle terrain turns out is tougher to maneuver than white truffle. And when you train those puppies to eat what they find, you have to be on your toes. Or go with a qualified truffle hunter like Ivan Karlic, the grandson of the guy who started it all 50 years ago.
We learned the ins and outs of the hunt including the difference between teaching them to eat it vs bring it to you. And how male dogs are just too horny for this kind of work. In addition to the main Motovun forest where licensed guides roam around, the Karlic family also owns their own groves where hazelnut trees will start producing truffles 7 years after planting. Meanwhile today, exhausted city slickers turned hunters pick fresh cherries out of the groves and pose for selfies.
If the hunt was exhilarating, the meal before the hunt was pure ecstasy. If humans would poses similar instincts to those dogs, I imagine it would have been very easy to train us to find truffles. We would even carry the bonus of not eating everything we find, and clean our own poop. They start you with truffle brandy, and end with truffle Nutella, with truffle salami and truffle cheese in between. Along with truffle oil (real, not perfume), truffle cream and truffle honey available for you just in case you want more truffle. And did I mention the Truffle Scrambled eggs. Let me see.. I dont think I did. Butter is mixed in with finely shredded black truffles and eggs before finishing with more shredded truffles. The result is what wet dreams are made of. If Karlic decides to use that saying in their brochure or website, I allow it.