Truffle hunting in Istria
Truffle hunting in Istria dates for Italian ocupation of Istria and one of main symbols of Istria are truffles – mushrooms that grow under earth and are being searched for with dogs. Of course the dog is the most important part of the story , his sence of smell is important but so is his behaviour because dogs like truffles and will eat them if are not properly trained and controled. Many truffle hunters in other parts of the world use pigs for help but Croatian ones use dogs. Almost any hunting dog can hunt for truffles and that includes all breeds not just pureblood ones but the best breeds are lagotto romagnolo i labrador.
The hunter should start training with his puppey at 3 months old and the training consists of 4 phazes:
1st phaze is giving truffles to the puppey so he can get used to eating them and looking for them.
2nd phaze is about seting up small pieces of truffle or bread soaked in truffle oil about 3 cm under ground to imitate natural conditions, and ofcourse reward the dog when he finds them with some doggy treats.
3rd phaze should make finding set up targets harder, bury the truffle 10 – 20 cm under ground. The dog will have to work harder to smell and dig them out and u have to reward him when he finds them same way you did in phaze 2.
4th phaze is actual truffle hunting with trained dogs and dogs in process of training. When an older dog finds the truffle , the owner has to remove the older dog and bring the younger one to dig the truffle out. In this phaze the dog gets used to the real hunting, to the environment and teamwork and after this phaze is finished the dogi s ready for work.
It is interesting that truffles used to be considered as bad and were given to pigs and thrown away but as time went by the truffles became a real delicacy. The most expensive and delicious kind of truffle found in Istria is the white truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico) while the cheaper and less rare ones are all black kinds of truffle. The Largest quantities can be foun in Motovun forests andthe centers of truffle production are Livade and Buzet.
You can find Karlić truffles from one of the best truffle hunters on our webshop.