The aroma and taste of the truffle are unmistakable and intoxicating, exceptional to give a touch of sophistication and delicacy to numerous and different dishes, from appetizers to desserts. The truffle has been appreciated for its organoleptic characteristics since ancient times: Sumerians, Greeks and ancient Romans already used it in their kitchen, accompanying it to vegetables and legumes. To emphasize its importance, it is sufficient to recall that a famous Latin poet traced its origins to Jupiter; the close link with the libidinous father of the gods contributed to nourish the fame of the truffle as a powerful aphrodisiac, a reputation which is still persistent in the collective imagination.
During your truffle hunt in Perugia you will discover that truffles, being mushrooms, must necessarily live in symbiosis with other organisms, in particular tree species such as oaks, poplars, willows, hazels, limes, pines and hornbeams; the hyphae of the fungus join up with the roots of the plant, drawing the necessary nourishment and yielding mineral salts in turn. The truffle that we know and consume constitutes the fruiting body of the organism, that is, the structure predisposed to the dispersion of spores, the medium that in the realm of fungi allows reproduction.
The departure of the experience outside will begin in a forest near Perugia.
The truffle hunting time can be customized.
If Umbria is the heart of Italy, Perugia is the heart of Umbria. A heart surrounded by those splendid valleys that can be admired from the numerous viewpoints that dot the city. A small city, where it is very easy to reach every important point on foot.
Despite the appearance of a fortified medieval village, it has an intense city life, perhaps thanks to the two universities that take its headquarters here, the medieval old town has developed on a hill enclosed by mighty walls, which today no longer delimit the city area, but which however divide the ancient Perugia from the modern one.
Truffle hunting was done with the help of pigs, usually females, but today the hunters are helped by dogs. Your truffle hunt will begin with the encounter with your truffle hunter and his trained dog.
Your truffle hunt will be a private tour and will be conducted by an authorized guide who will inform you about the details of the research you will do and how it is done each year by the Trifolai of Perugia. You will then start looking for truffles, along with the dog, and in the meantime you will learn how many species exist and what is the season in which it is possible to find the prized white truffle and in which the black one.
During the hunt you need to be patient, in fact you will have to accompany the dog in search and wait for it to smell the rare pearl of the land. When he has found the point where the truffle is, he will indicate it by wagging his tail and beginning to dig with his paws. At that point it will be up to you to dig deeper into the ground, a few centimeters and with great care extract the truffle.
The hunt will end after a couple of hours of research and you can continue your tour of Umbria to discover the cities and its history.
We have been in Umbria for two weeks and have dedicated a whole day to the famous truffle! We started with two very interesting hours of truffle hunting, during which they explained a lot about the very fragrant truffle! It was a unique experience, which we will surely redo the next time we come to Italy!