4. Why do truffles grow so well in your area?
Whenever we go out, we go on our own land. Only our family are allowed to hunt truffles here. So this means there is a much better chance of finding something because fewer people are hunting in the area.
If you don’t have your own land, you can go in the public woods which is owned by the government. You need to get a license and finish some exams, then the government will allow you to look for truffles.
Specifically here on our land, we have a micro-climate; it’s very hot and we get a lot of rain. The woods we have here are made up of a mix of trees like oak, beech and hazelnut which are the most common for truffles to grow near. And wherever there are truffles here in Istria, they are always near the Mirna River. The river is a few minutes away from our house and runs through the valley. All the water from the nearby mountains collects in the river too so the woods here have rich and moist soil which is ideal for growing truffles.
It barely ever snows here, though it does in other parts of Croatia. It might snow once in every six or seven years but then the snow will never stick because of our warm micro-climate. This is good because if the ground freezes, then the truffles rot.
Also the woods where the truffles grow are completely unpolluted ground. It’s completely untouched by humans. It’s purely natural woods which is rich with wildlife. The wild animals are very important for the production of truffles.
5. Where do you sell your truffles?
So in our business we have truffles products that we sell in jars, like pestos, spreads, oils, cheese and salami which we sell to our distributors all over the world which then supply the shops in their regions, including deli shops, supermarkets and specialist stores.
Besides the products we have the fresh truffles which we ship all over the world and sometimes directly to the restaurants, but mostly to the distributors. They might take 5 to 10 kilos and they’ll dispatch to each restaurant. So we ship to Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and many more places. We mostly export outside of Europe. Especially the white truffles, because they are rarer.
6. What is the biggest truffle you have found?
Well, mine was not that big. It was about 180g. But my parents have found much larger ones through the years. But basically it’s just luck and how good your dog is of course. Your dog has to be really well trained. You have to be really patient. Patience is the key. If you are not patient with your dog and you quit quickly, then you will not be a lucky truffle hunter.
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