The Truffles – golden nuggets of Istria

The truffle is the supreme delicacy known and enjoyed by the Mesopotamian rulers 4000 years ago, was known to the ancient Greeks and the Roman emperors, and served at the French court and among the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy. It’s still one of the most prestigious foodstuffs in world gastronomy. This royal mushroom is quite rare and grows in several locations in Europe, some parts of France and Italy, and in Istria, favored by the mild climate, small temperature variations, and grey clay soil.

The cold appetizer at Karlić Tartufi, photo by Igor Horvatić

 

The Istrian truffle triangle is between Pazin, Buje, and Buzet, where white, and black truffles have their natural habitat, especially in the valley of the river Mirna and in the Motovun Forest. They grow underground, and they are searched after by specially trained dogs. 

Truffle hunting Zigante, Livade Istria, Croatia photo credit by Zigante Truffles

Truffle hunting Zigante, Livade Istria, Croatia photo credit by Zigante Truffles

October is the top season of the white truffles, golden Istrian nuggets, which are the most expensive and the most valuable truffles. At that time, numerous events are held every weekend to celebrate this indisputable king of mushrooms. But, even before and after this period, throughout most of the autumn, Istria lives in the rhythm of truffles with the abundance of festivities dedicated to this noble mushroom. 

In 1999, Buzet was named the City of Truffles inside the Truffles Zone. In the Istrian truffle, triangle area lays the Motovun forest, a habitat to the Istrian white truffle (tuber magnatum), a pricy tuber whose value is measured in grams. It has a distinctive smell, not a very striking appearance, but its taste is exquisite. Apart from white truffles, the area is also rich in other varieties of black truffle ( Tuber Aestivum Vitt, Tuber ubicatum, Tuber melange sporum).

The land of Truffles

 

As part of the “Truffles Days”, the tourist board of the city of Buzet organizes a fair entitled Truffles Weekend. The event takes place on the first weekend of November.

The purpose of the event is to promote, taste and sell truffles as a unique gastronomic product (honey, cheese, olive oil, wine, brandies (rakija), mushrooms, cookies), and also to promote weekend tourism and Buzet itself as the city of truffles. One of the essential goals achieved through such events is, of course, the prolonging of the tourist season.

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The participants at the fair that takes place in a large tent in the very center of the city of Buzet, are the companies registered to sell truffles, as well as numerous producers of autochthonous products of the Buzet area, and the neighboring places: Buje, Kašteliri, Brtonigla, and Grožnjan. In addition to the gastronomic offer, there is a cultural entertainment program organized for the occasion where people can listen to the sound of triestina, bajs, and vijulina.

Fritaja with truffles photo by Andreja Pruša Horvatić


Truffle cheese, Karlić, Croatia photo by Karlić Truffles

Truffle cheese, Karlić, Croatia photo by Karlić Truffles

 

The guests that come from the whole region are presented with the typical truffle dishes: fuži, pljukanci, gnocchi, fritata, and various meat combinations. There are also many exhibitions and fairs, with plenty of excellent opportunities to meet the world of this magic, aromatic tuber known for its aphrodisiac features.

Now you know where you are going to be, going to taste and witness the biggest and more valuable truffle nuggets of this season!

See you in the Istrian truffle triangle in October!

Hum, Croatia, Istria

 

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