Although they technically belong to the fungi family, truffles resemble potatoes more than capped mushrooms. As evidenced by their biological classification among the hundreds of plant varieties in the “tuber” genus, truffles are fungi which grow underground. The word “truffle” comes from English and French origin. Depending on their type, truffles’ surface can be smooth like a potato, feature patterns of black warts, or vary further in appearance.
Truffles are naturally formed at the root of plants due to the symbiotic relationship between plants and fungi. Known as mycorrhiza, this symbiotic association is vital for plants. Some capped mushrooms display mycorrhizal characteristics. Truffles formed by mycorrhizal association at the root of oak, hazel, linden, chestnut, and pine trees reach the size of an average egg. Once these truffles mature, they emit an aroma that enables animals such as truffle hogs and dogs to find them.
Wild boars are particularly helpful at getting truffles to reproduce, as they eat the truffles and carry their spores to other regions through excrement. Truffle hunting is more often done using specially trained dogs. Although there are a wide variety of truffles, the ones that have economic value are Tuber magnatum (white Alba truffles), Tuber melanosporum (black winter truffles), and Tuber aestivum (black summer truffles). Thanks to scientific advancements in recent years, research done in labs and greenhouses has enabled growers to cultivate truffles alongside select plants. This application has been around in other parts of the world for decades, and at long last it is now available in Turkey, as well. Truffle-inoculated seedlings are cultivated in special greenhouses.
Considered to be one of the greatest gourmet flavors around the world, fresh truffles can be used to elevate (preferably hot) dishes prepared in any way by grating them raw over the dish using a special truffle shaver. The heat from the dish reveals the truffle’s aroma, lending whole new flavors and scents to the recipe. Just 10-15 grams of grated truffles can transform even the simplest baked potato, fried egg, or plain buttery pasta into a feast people have sought for centuries. Demirsoy Tarim sells Tuber aestivum (black summer truffles) and Tuber melanosporum (black winter truffles) procured either from its own farm or from nature, depending on the season.
Our dogs are specially trained to retrieve the valuable truffles hidden beneath the ground, known as “black diamonds.”
It is very important to gather the truffles once they’re matured. Unripe truffles are unable to mature once they’ve been extracted from the ground. Since these unripe truffles do not have the desired aroma, they also do not have any sales value.
It is very difficult for the human eye to detect whether or not truffles have matured. Only dogs and pigs can detect the scent of mature truffles underground. Truffle hunting done without dogs is not only difficult, but it also causes extracted truffles to go to waste.
When it comes to truffle hunting, Lagotto Romagnolo breed dogs are the best at detecting this particular scent. Originally from Italy, Lagottos are water retrievers. Demirsoy Tarim has 11 trained Lagottos for truffle-hunting. With these dogs, we’re able to constantly organize truffle hunts both out in nature and in our own truffle farm. We are also breeding and training truffle hunting dogs.
Truffles generally form underground like potatoes, due to the mycorrhizal growth at the root of trees like oak and hazel. Growing to the size of an average egg, matured truffles emit an aroma that helps animals like pigs and dogs find them. In Europe, truffle hunting is predominantly done with specially trained dogs. Although there are numerous truffle varieties, the ones that hold economic value are Tuber magnatum (white Alba truffles), Tuber melanosporum (black winter truffles), and Tuber aestivum (black summer truffles).