Truffles

From truffle hunting to the table!

It was from the best preserved medieval Istrain town of Motorvun that we were to have our own truffle hunting experience.

Truffles are becoming very sought after these days. Anyone mentioning the word in the food industry creates excitement. A recent television show had brother and sister team who scored amazingly well with their truffles inspired menu though I almost cringed when I saw the amount of truffle in their mash potato.  That was before I sampled scrambled eggs with truffle.  No it seems you cannot have too much of the exciting stuff.

BUT first things first we had to hunt for them.  I had thoughts of something akin to an Easter egg hunt with truffles being hidden for the hunting dogs to find!  This was genuine!  We set off with out truffle hunter and his two dogs.  They did not come easy….we had a real search!  I was particularly surprised how the dogs …or one in particular could smell out the truffle which was well and truly under the surface.  We ended up with three of the specimens which looked as you see in pictures…nothing special.   A black misshapen object which could be actually a piece of soft stone or hardened mud.

In this area of Istra there are both black and white truffles at different times of the year.   The white ones are more expensive and sought after with a shorter season.

Back in the truffle hunters home we met his wife who had prepared a table bulging with a variety of truffled snacks together with tastings of her salsas and pastes.  There was also cheese with truffles, ham, salad and small sandwiches of everything truffled.   When we had gorged…..and I can think of no other word to describe our feast our host proceeded to make…you guessed it!  Truffles scrambled eggs!  Local wine was served. Life does not come better than this!

But wait there is more and I can’t believe I could have forgotten this!  There was cake!  Surely not…..truffles and cake!  We were served one of the best cakes that I tried in Croatia ….a chocolate cake with truffled honey! And an extra shaving of truffle.  And it worked!

Now….weeks later and having returned home to an Australian winter I am sitting in front of a fire in my pj’s ans slippers drinking a cup of tea and munching on some toast with vegetmite in the wee hours trying to overcome jet lag I think back to the wonderful day of truffles.

Added to that I purchased two smallish bottles of truffled olive oil and a plate from the farm which I am delighted to say made the rest of the journey and home in one piece.  To keep them or gift them!  That is the question!

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