Truffles - A Fragrant Gems of the Istrian Underground


One of the first things that come to mind when you think about Istria is - truffles. How wouldn't they be when these underground mushrooms are a gastronomic wonder that won't leave anyone indifferent due to their recognizable and specific taste and scent.

Truffles are a very rare delicacy: in Europe, you will find them in selected parts of France, Italy, and in the famous Istrian triangle between Buje, Pazin and Buzet. And when you add the aphrodisiac properties to stories about truffles, it becomes clear why Istrian taverns are full of domestic and foreign guests in search of the ultimate culinary experience.

These subterranean mushrooms were enjoyed by the rulers of Mesopotamia as far back as 4000 years ago and they were an essential part of feasts of the ancient Greeks, Romans, and, more recently, of French and Austro-Hungarian kings. 

Istrian truffles

The first truffle on the Istrian peninsula was discovered 80 years ago in the Motovun Forest, which together with the valley of the river Mirna is an ideal ground for their growth due to the permeable soil with a higher proportion of gravel and sand. These gastronomic gems develop their yields 5 to 30 centimeters below the ground and are found by specially trained search dogs. 

The rarest and most expensive is the Istrian white truffle, although gourmets and chefs are familiar with the charms of black truffles as well.

Truffles are ideally paired with traditional Istrian cuisine - served in combination with fuži, pljukanci, and gnocchi - but they can also be a wonderful addition to a frittata and many other dishes with different types of meat, from turkey to boškarin. Known for centuries as diamonds of the kitchen, truffles are one of the things you simply must try when visiting Istria. We also recommend you ensure a good supply of truffles for romantic dinner nights back home.

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