If truffles can be found near tree roots while you’re out for a stroll with your dog, why don’t we all get hold of a canine companion, don a pair of boots and head for the woods? Well, actually it’s not quite as simple as it sounds. If it was, we’d all be out there raking in the cash and grating fresh truffles onto our pasta every night.
Unfortunately, truffle hunting is a very precise and difficult skill to master and it’s often passed down through the generations. Prime truffle hunting locations are closely guarded secrets and the whole process can be a closed world to the uninitiated. Us mere mortals simply have to sit back and pay big bucks if we want to sample the extraordinary delights of the truffle.
Different varieties grow in different locations but essentially truffles are found within very close proximity to trees. In fact, they need roots to exist at all and this at least gives truffle hunters a bit of a head start when they set off on a misty morning with an empty basket and a spring in their step. The cunning truffle has managed to outwit man throughout the ages. Whilst other animals, vegetables and minerals have been tamed, reared and cultivated artificially, no one has ever managed to rein in the truffle. It remains defiant and won’t be cultivated
Many varieties of tree prove to be a happy home to the truffle. However, the Perigord remains loyal to the mighty oak and it nestles happily beneath the soil, hiding out until it is snuffled by a pig or a dog and ends up on the dinner plate of a rich restaurant patron. If truffles had brains I wonder what thoughts would be going through them as they are rudely dragged from their dark, warm homes by an overexcited canine.