White truffle of Istria is an internationally recognized delicacy and an integral part of gourmet cuisine.
Truffle is strong-smelling underground fungus that resembles an irregular, rough-skinned potato, growing chiefly in broadleaved woodland on calcareous soils. It is one of the rarest delicacies in the world. You guessed it right, Istria is also famous for truffles of the highest quality and especially white truffles.
Istrian truffles have been for years holding successfully in the competition on the international market against such truffle giant regions in Italy as Alba and Piemont.
In Motovun forest (Istria) was found Istrian king of truffles. It is called Giancarlo Ziganto which weighs over 1,300 kilograms and is a recognised record holder in Guinness World Record.
Motovun forest is forest with moist soils which is the main area where truffles grow.
White truffle of Istria
Istrian white truffle / Tuber magnatum pico is beautiful and the most valued Istrian truffle. It grows from September till January and is either eaten fresh or together with pasta, meat and fish.
Istrian black truffle
Istrian black truffle / Tuber melanosporum is the most valuable of the black truffles. It grows from January to spring.
Tuber aestivium is also a subtype of black truffle which grows throughout the entire year, but it’s price is slightly lower than of Tuber melanosporum. Tuber brumale is also type of black truffle which grows during winter and it is also cheaper than Tuber melanosporum.
Truffles – antistress and aphrodisiac
It is scientifically proven that truffles contain substance called Anandamide whose function is to improve mood and to create sense of comfort.
Romans used to believe that truffles grow at places where God Jupiter has stroke the lightning into an oak wood. Since Jupiter was also known for his sexual activity which according to the legends made truffles aphrodisiacs.
In 2020 few white truffles have been sold for over 75,000 euros!
Autumn is a special time for truffle fans.
From September to October iz the best time for white truffle hunt, but as well best time for their degustation. Dogs are used to sense the truffles. Dogs use truffles’ special smell to find them.
Historically pigs were used more frequently for this purpose, but now dogs are favoured because they don’t deal damage to the found truffle which negatively influences the truffle.
Dishes with truffles – Istrian Cuisine
The most famous restaurant in Istria is named after the truffle king “Giancarlo Zigante”. It is located very close to Motovun town.
Numerous events connected to truffles take place from September to November. You can enjoy different types of shows, contests and degustations all over the town during those days.
Till today white and black truffles remain essential part of the Istrian cuisine. Some of them which are worth mentioning are: Istrian fuži or plukanci with black or white truffles, fish or shrimps with white truffles, steak with grated truffles, truffle ice cream, chocolate cake with olive oil and truffles))
In Istria there is even a special sign which indicates the quality of truffle called “Tartuffe Vero” (translation: true truffle).
Such titles are earned by Istrian restaurants of the highest standards.
TOP 5 dishes with truffles in Istria
- Pasta with truffles
- Cheese with truffles
- Oil with truffles
- Honey with truffles
- Ice cream with truffles
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On this page used photos from TZ Istria