I have to admit, I didn’t take it real well when our plans to go truffle hunting in Le Marche fell through because of rainy weather.
We ended up having a local adventure, but I wanted to eat truffles, dammit.
So when the first day of spring arrived with sunshine, we headed out to the hills of Siena for truffle hunting take 2.
Our mission was to find tartufo marzolino – a white truffle that darkens as it ripens.
The truffle is common in February and March, with a season extending into April. Our timing was perfect, so my hopes were high.
We were met by Alido, an expert tartufaio – a truffle hunter, from Associazione Tartufai del Garbo.
And of course, Rodi, the three-year-old truffle hunting pup.
Dogs are no eegits, as the Irish husband would say.
Puppies also love the taste of truffles, and when Rodi would catch a whiff, he would quickly set to digging.
Alido would coax him away to uncover the truffles himself, and pocket them for lunch before Rodi was able to eat them all.
Can you spot the white gold in the photo?
Irregularly shaped and covered in earth, it took awhile before I got the hang of what we were looking for in the dirt. However, you can see the tartufi marzolini in the center – slightly richer colored and rounded.
While Rodi was not allowed to eat our truffles, he was rewarded with doggie treats so he was perfectly happy to continue to sniff out the truffles and alert Alido.
Rodi had a bit of work to do to make sure we had enough truffles for a decadent meal, but he was quick to smell out the delicious little tubers.
With our Alido’s pockets full, we were ready to hop back in the cinquecento and prepare for a feast.
Cute puppies! Cute cars! Real truffles! Truffle hunting finally worked out.
Many thanks to MyTour Tuscany Experts who organized the outing.