Snuffle a Truffle
Winter truffles tend to be tastier than summer truffles and are harvested from November to March, so if you’re planning of snuffling, you better get a wiggle on!
Black truffles (coming from the Latin ‘tuber’, meaning “lump”) sell for over 1000 euros a kilo in local markets and over 3,000 euros per kilo in some sectors of the retail world!
Truffles are fungi that grow underground from small organisms which grow on the roots of certain trees, in particular green and white oaks.
In order for the truffle to develop, the right combination of soil, climate and host tree must be present and even then it is not guaranteed. The soil must be chalky, the climate Mediterranean and the tree of the right species.
Specially trained dogs sniff them out and indicate their presence to the ’trufficulteur’ who will carefully investigate the site with the help of a trowel or spoon.
Female pigs are also used by some truffle farmers. The piggie positive is they don’t need any training; they’re naturals. The piggie negative is preventing them from snaffling rather than snuffling, as they do enjoy a tasty snack!
The truffle is well protected by law with heavy fines and even prison sentences for poaching. At all reputable truffle fairs the goods on sale will be inspected by an expert to ensure that they are the genuine article.
Want to snuffle a truffle? Check out your local tourist office and find the truffle fair nearest to chez vous.