Hunting for truffles
Truffle is the strangest of mushrooms, honestly. If you do not know biology, it is more likely to confuse with potatoes than you call the mushroom. Nor an elegant hat, no elegant leg, no beauty coloring. Also grows underground at a depth of 10-30 cm.
For a person, only a few types of truffles have a pleasant taste and aroma – they are exactly the most expensive delicacy in the world. One of the legends, the first truffle found a pig of one poor farmer. She ruined several mushrooms and immediately ate. The owner considered that these mushrooms were poisonous, and very upset that his only pig would die. She, on the contrary, Rassed the truffle behind the truffle and did not complain about health. The farmer also tried the mushroom and was surprised how tasty it was. So he became the first truffles hunter and quickly got rich. For hunting first used pigs, later – dogs.
In their truffles, France and Italy are famous for their truffles, in the forests of which grow the most fragrant truffles – white and black. Because of his evolution, the truffle is always expensive – since the time of the ancient Rome mushroom only grows in price.
At the beginning of the XIX century, the brand appeared, which decided to cultivate the fungus. Joseph Talon landed hectare across the oaks, under which they found truffles. A few years later, under the roots of some of them were detected truffles.
At the truffle hunting in Russia went with bears
Today, the fungus is grown on the US planters, China, Australia and New Zealand. French and Italian truffle hunters have to compete in the market with businessmen – plantation owners. The hunters are confident that only mushrooms grown in a natural environment have the most aroma for which the truffle appreciates, and therefore all the fruits from plantations can be sold at potatoes price.
Participants in industrial plants are seen in such statements envy and reproach hunters that they are simply afraid that the truffle will fall in price due to mass overproduction. While the hunters have no reason to worry – the demand for truffles exceeds the offer, and it allows you to make well earn hunters, and enterprises.
By the way, in Russia, the truffle is growing too. In the XIX – early XX century, there was a whole hunting fishery near Moscow. At the truffle hunting in Russia went with bears. Later adopted European fashion on dogs. But the Russian truffle does not have the aroma for which the Italian and French mushroom appreciate. Therefore, now on truffles in Russia do not hunt. And if the restaurant menu meets truffle, it’s imports.
We go to the hunt
We are in the Italian town of Portico Di-Romagna, which was lost in the Apennine Hills of the Emilia-Romagna region. The city is tiny, according to our standards village. Today together with Italian Matteo Camels We will go look for truffles.
Family Camellies holds a hotel and a restaurant in the village, the fact that lives. By profession, Matteo and his brother Maximilian – Cook. Cook art taught the father of Giovanni. Men are responsible for the kitchen, their wives look after the hotel.
Tradition to go to the truffle hunt in the family brought Giovanni. He pulled out Matteo to the forest for mushrooms when it was four years. Then the boy was a sense of a little, he only did that he had taught behind the tails of hunting dogs. Later hunting his still carried away. At the age of 14, Matteo first went hunting without a father.
– Then I had a small tricycle car with a body (APE). Only I and Diana felt in the car, my first dog. So we went to hunt once or twice a week. Happened, returned with the truffles, it happened that and with nothing.
Why dogs are better pig?
They say all the mushrooms that we will collect today, fit in your pockets. Braided baskets are not required. From the ammunition I was given only shoes, two sizes more than mine. All dusty, in dirt. Something average between ski and those that were in fashion with climbers ten years ago. I feel proudly, and in the puddle to step more.
– Take Beri. Well, a little big, nothing. We are three hours in the forest to walk, – Matteo insists.
To the forest 6 km. With us in the car two dogs. Like a song about geese: one – white (Otto), the other is gray (Rex). Good, it is worth getting closer, tormented lying in the nose. They are remotely similar to neatly trimmed poodles.
Five centuries ago these dogs brought out for water hunting in the Emilia-Romagna region. They perfectly got the raised ducks even from ice water. Then part of the lakes in Italy dried, the dogs were left without. Then they began to train to search for truffles. Today dogs breed Lagotto-Romagonolo – the best hunters for underground mushrooms. Trained dog can cost € 6000. To grow from a puppy a hunting dog, it takes three years.
In the family of the Camellies, their method of education of dogs. Puppies take a hunt with an experienced adult dog. For two years of study, a young dog remembers the places where the truffle grows, and learns to look for new.
Pigs in the truffle hunt for a long time do not use. Unlike shock and skillful dogs, pigs are too voracious, quickly get tired on the hunt and more difficult to train. Truffles, of course, they find quickly, but they immediately eat them. Yes, land is harmful. Animal so diligently roets the land in search of truffles, which breaks Gribnitsa. After such a hunter, truffles are restored for two or three years. Therefore, in Italy to go hunting with pigs for 30 years as forbidden.
It’s that potatoes?
Leash stretch like string. Rex rushing forward, I barely manage to him.
I look more under my feet than on the sides. Forest ordinary, deciduous, similar to the near Moscow. Even birchs are found. True, thin, from the wind pegs.
Dog pulls me aside, sniffed to the ground. Takes to the left. Seeds between trees. Matteo frees the dog from a leash. He is still sniffing and begins to dig up the land under the tree.
Here the Italian distracts the dog, throws the handful of dry feed. Dogs are looking for truffles not from noble goals, but because they themselves want to eat it. Truffle – the best delicacy for the breed Lagotto-Romagon. So they need to distract them in time.
While Rex looks like food in the ground, Matteo pulls out a small shovel because of his back and continues to dig where the dog pointed. At a depth of 10-15 cm among the Earth, there was a couple of clumps of earthen color, resembling potato tubers, with an unusual sharp odor.
– A? This is truffle? Here it is what.
Two truffles with a small fist – excellent work. Dogs get another portion of feed.
Of the hunting achievements, the family of Clay is proud of the story, which happened to the father of Matteo in 1979. Then in local forests Giovanni found a mushroom with a soccer ball. Truffle weighed 1440 g, Nakhodka Giovanni was assessed at 100,000 lire. About Giovanni said the whole village and wrote regional newspapers. That record could not beat any hunter for a few more years. Since then, the demand for truffles has grown, and such a mushroom, find it now, could cost as a small car.
On several trees, I noticed small, size with two matched box, iron boxes flashing with green fire. These are the chambers of tracking, which are tracking around the clock all who passes through this forest. Territory private, and to search here Truffles, the hunter must pay an annual contribution.
– My father and I paid a decent amount in this year so that only our family had the right to search for truffles in this forest. But some hunters play not by the rules. I know for sure at least one person from our village, which without permission comes to hunt, – Ugrootet Matteo.
Such poachers come to the forest at night when video cameras are losing as shooting. A couple of years ago, unfriendliers spread the poisoned bait for dogs in the forest so that competitors come out of the game.
Such unpleasant stories around the search for truffles began to occur along with fashion for underground mushrooms. It happened over the past 20 years: the leading chefs included dishes with a truffle in the menu, the mushrooms became a recognized delicacy, and the price of them increased ten times. Today the price for the handful of truffles begins from $ 1000.