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World-famous Istrian truffles

 

The king of Istrian gastronomy, the truffle, is a true delicacy and a real gem for gourmets. This distinctive mushroom with a specific taste and aroma is perfectly intertwined with many dishes, enriching them with a special taste. Truffles were known to the ancient Egyptians. Throughout history, many legends have been spread about them explaining their origin by the magic of lightning while Cicero considered them true children of the Earth. Istrians have known the seductiveness of truffles since ancient times, and throughout history, many crowned heads have been sweetened with Istrian truffles.

Truffles are a kind of treasure hunt. They grow underground and are therefore found exclusively with the help of specially trained dogs or pigs. The two most important truffle species are white (Tuber magnatum) and black truffle (Tuber melanosporum). White truffle is one of the highest quality varieties, it has a penetrating smell of garlic and old cheese, while black truffle has a more refined aroma reminiscent of garlic and fresh earth.

The richest truffle deposits can be found in the Mediterranean climate and in Croatia, they are located in magical Istria. Its white lands, especially the beautiful valley of Mirna and the mystical Motovun forest, hide many secret places that connoisseurs carefully hide by sharing them only with their faithful dog-seekers. 

At the time of truffle picking, from September to December, in the dreamy dawns before sunrise, seekers go out faithfully following their animal friends in search of Istrian gold which can be truly impressive. The largest truffle ever found was found just near Buje, it weighed as much as 1.31 kilograms, which is why it is famously entered in the Guinness Book of Records. Istrian white truffle is among the most prized in the world because it is adorned with a truly distinctive aroma and taste due to its specific soil and symbiotic plants.