|Truffles are precious gifts from the soil of the woods, in uncultivated areas that are often alongside the banks of rivers. The number of these so-called ‘Truffle farms’ has steadily increased over the last several years; each one is filled with specific types of plants and fungi that provide the ideal conditions for development of the truffle within the mycorrhizae (root and fungus) structure.
During the harvest, the ‘hunter’ must strike up a partnership with a dog that has a keen sense of smell tuned for the detection of a truffle’s unique aroma.
In the woods, once the dog has sniffed out the truffle, the truffle hunter extracts it extremely carefully with a special hoe. The digging has to be around the area where the dog indicated, and it is crucial that the hunter replaces the disturbed earth: this ensures that new fruiting truffle bodies can form.
It’s forbidden to harvest immature truffles, and hunting after dark is also off-limits; harvest times are established on a yearly basis in each region.