Truffles have recently been one of the most popular things you can taste. It’s not just a modern matter, they’ve been popular for a long time. Plutarch and Dumas wrote about them, and King Luis XIV of France or King Edward VII of England had them on the table regularly, for example.
It is no wonder, therefore, that the hunters protect their places carefully. They take care of their dogs or pigs, which are their main working tool, of course. At the same time, a hunter needs a bit of truffle fortune.
Hunting with pigs
Truffle hunting with pigs is traditional in many countries. In France, the method is still used in some places. However, in Italy, the hunting for truffles with the pigs was banned. The main breed for truffle hunting is a Spanish black pig. The big advantage of pigs is that they are looking for truffles purely for their personal pleasure. Training a pig will not take you more than three weeks. There are more disadvantages than advantages, unfortunately. Pigs often damage the mycelium, because they make a big whole with their nose. They also eat ripe and immature truffles and can thus irreversibly damage the entire truffle tree ecosystem. Searching with pigs has a lot of other disadvantages that we will love to tell you at our tour.
Flies can fly over the ground where there are truffles. These flies have a small flying range. They place their eggs in the ground close to the truffle, so that the larvae, after hatching, have access to food immediately. The Hunters walk with a little stick and sneak around the trees and watch for the flies. There are still a few finders who collect truffles by this method.
Did you know?
Hunters from France have their own patron saint, Anthony, to whom they prays for good harvest.
One woman from New Zealand walks around barefoot over the surface of the ground. She is able to feel differences in the soil texture. Then she kneels and assesses the scent of the soil around and harvests the truffles. This method is only possible due to special conditions of artificial truffle plantations in New Zealand.
Hunting with trained Dogs
We can tell you a lot about truffle hunting with a dog, because we have one trained. To truffle hunt, any kind of dog breed can be trained, but some types are more suitable for training than others. Dogs are obedient, have a good sense of smell and are very mobile. Training a dog is not as easy as training a pig, but a trained dog is the best investment for a truffle hunter. The dog can be trained in two ways. Each has certain advantages and disadvantages …