Truffle hunt -- too touristy?

Aug 19th, 2007, 10:53 PM
  #1  
Cee
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Truffle hunt -- too touristy?

Has anyone gone on a "truffle hunt" in the Piedmont? A kind Fodorite has raised some questions (in a previous post)as to the authenticity of these excursions. There are several of these hunts, using dogs, available to tourists during truffle season. They charge about 50 Euros per person. Obviously, if every tourist could find truffles, they would not be so expensive, so it is probably more of a demonstration of a hunt, without actually finding a truffle. But I wonder if the experience is worth it? Would it be fun for my (adult)family? IF it is really just a tourist rip-off, I would rather spend the money ordering truffles in a restaurant!I would be interested in hearing about any truffle-hunting experiences from anyone who has participated in one.
Cee is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 01:32 AM
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Hi Cee,

I ran a search on "truffle hunting" on this Italy page and couldn't find the original poster you mentioned. Maybe you could post the link? I have heard of a "simulated truffle hunt" organised by the Alba tourist office that maybe the one you refer to, which sounds touristy to me. There are a few people around Asti and Alba areas who offer a genuine excursion with dogs to find truffles (but not always guaranteed!)

Here is a link describing a truffle hunt

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34715440
Sampaguita is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 03:37 PM
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I just returned from a week in Umbria where a wonderful restauranteur in Spoleto (at Ristorante Apollinaire) educated us about the fine points of truffle hunting. Each hunter has to have a hunting license--and is limited to one dog per person. He goes out every day in season with 1-2 dogs (and a friend, if 2 dogs) and almost always finds truffles.

This company would have to have dogs and licenses for each person. Most truffle hunters are rather secretive about their hunting places. Frankly, this sounds like a ginned up tourist experience to me--and I would spend my Euros having a wonderful meal with truffles that someone else found in Piedmont!
JanDelaware is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 04:02 PM
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I have been truffle hunting with a neighbor in the Périgord, after mroe than a decade of asking and earning his trust, and he'd rather shoot his truffle dog than let a bunch of strangers go along with him on his hunts. I can't imagine this is a "unique" and authentic experience. No self-respecting truffle hunter would even mention the general area where he hunts, never mind take folks he doesn't even know along. Well, I take that back, a clever truffle hunter who knew he could make money both gathering truffles and purportedly showing tourists how to do it would be a savvy entrepreneur.

I'm guessing it would be fun (there's lots to learn about truffle hunting that's interesting), but I'm also guessing someone goes out and plants those truffles just especially for you. The dogs will dig them up a thousand times over, given the chance -they get nice treats for doing so.

Personally, I'd rather pay to eat them than to tag along on some hokey "truffle tour," but there's always the remote chance it's "for real," so I dunno....
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Aug 20th, 2007, 09:04 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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The truffle hunter described on the link I posted is quite genuine and very smart guy. His family has owned a patch of woods for generations that happens to be very good for all types of truffles (black in summer, white in fall) and knowing what an interest there is, he has turned the old family house into a small truffle hunters museum and brings groups into his own woods with his dogs. He has become very busy as no-one else offers this service and although its possible that one backup truffle may be planted just in case to not disapoint people,they really do dig up several truffles a day and offer visitors a chance to experience and learn about truffle lore.

Of course if you want the "genuine experience" and you are lucky to know someone who knows a trifalau and you speak Piedmontese (or at least good Italian) you may go with one of the normal hunters who of course are secretive as they are not hunting on their own woods.
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