Fresh truffles are one of the world’s most highly prized ingredients, but they’re also one of the hardest to find. Expert foragers search the forests of Europe for these little culinary gems, using their knowledge of the fungus’ preferences to find the most likely spot.
Like other wild produce (wild mushrooms, wild vegetables, etc) truffles grow where Mother Nature dictates. They actually have a symbiotic relationship with tree roots. Which trees they prefer can vary with the truffle species, but in general oak, hazelnut & beech glades are a good place to look.
They’re often obscured by debris on the forest floor, so foragers usually employ animals to help uncover them – typically trained pigs or dogs. Truffles evolved to reproduce by being consumed (their spores are distributed through animal excrement), so when they’re ripe they emit a powerful aroma to attract animals to eat them.
Justin had a chance to forage for bianchetti truffles during a recent trip to Italy, and he brought a camera along so you could see what it’s like. [...]
Via Mariano Pallottini