Guest review: Sheila’s truffle hunting experience in Tuscany
More and more we’re starting to see truffles appearing on menus all over the world. From high-end cuisine to trendy burger joints serving up truffle fries (OMG – you HAVE to try them! To die for…). And now truffle hunting on holiday is a thing too.
So when NotInTheGuideBookstraveller Sheila returned from her truffle hunting holiday in Italy, she was keen to fill us in on her truffle hunting experience and if she had managed to find those elusive truffles.
Wait a minute – what exactly is truffle hunting?
Truffles (no, not the chocolate ones!) are a type of fungus and the edible types come in two forms – black or white. The truffle has a great reputation in the kitchens of top chefs and can add great depth or richness to a dish.
The truffles are located underground and are often found by pigs or dogs due to their heightened sense of smell.
In Italy, truffle hunting with pigs is no longer permitted so dogs are used instead.
Chef Fabrizio runs the truffle hunting holiday in Tuscany and after a day foraging in the woods, he will take you back into the kitchen to prepare some delicious dishes based around the truffles you found on the hunt.
But nothing is guaranteed on a truffle hunt so did Sheila’s group actually manage to find some truffles? Let’s find out…
Tell us what it was like truffle hunting in Tuscany…
The truffle hunting walk in the hills was truly memorable and I was privileged to take part. The hunter and his little truffle hunting dog were fantastic to watch.
I think it’s good to let future guests know that the truffle hunting season only begins in June, and while we were very lucky to find a good number of black truffles, they can be patchy and scarce early in the season. Plus, only black truffles are available, white not until autumn.
I would also suggest taking strong walking shoes or boots for when you go truffle hunting in the woods.
So did you find any truffles?
Yes, we did! The dog worked so hard and on one hunt we actually found two truffles at once.
What did you learn to cook with the truffles?
Fabrizio was knowledgeable and informative during the cooking lessons. The six dishes I prepared under his tuition were delicious. Here is a photo of one we cooked with the truffles…
What did you do outside the cooking activities?
So many activities were packed in to ensure that I fully experienced the culture, history and flavours of Tuscany.
During a guided walk around Arezzo, Fabrizio demonstrated his knowledge of history and his love of his home. There was also just the right amount of downtime each day when I was able to relax by the stunning pool. Perfect!
What was the accommodation like?
The farmhouse accommodation, while clean and comfortable, was rustic and basic. Any guests expecting fluffy white towels and luxury would be disappointed, but I felt this all added to the authenticity and charm.
As I was the only guest, I was made to feel so welcome and on my first day, I was invited to eat fabulous home-cooked food at lunch and dinner with host Marina and her delightful family.
Would you recommend your truffle hunting holiday in Italy?
It was a fantastic experience in beautiful surroundings. The chef and guide Fabrizio worked especially hard to ensure my holiday was tailor-made to my needs.
Thank you, Marina and Fabrizio. You both certainly went the extra mile to ensure my holiday was full of memories to cherish. Also, thank you to Lee at NotInTheGuideBookswho was efficient and helpful during the booking process.
Have you ever experienced truffle hunting? Was it with pigs or dogs? Was it successful?
You can find out more about Sheila’s truffle hunting holiday in Tuscany here.
Or feel free to browse our full range of cooking holidays in Italy.