Truffles Tuscany - EHR017

Enjoy an Italian delicacy!

In the small little village San Miniato, near Castellare di Tonda, you find a local restaurant called Taverna dell'Ozio, that serves a great truffle menu, a must if you ask me!

What are truffles?
You can describe a truffle as a mushroom growing underground and playing hard to get. As a matter of fact, it is a subterranean fungus, growing in proximity of trees' roots that can be difficult to harvest because it can be found between 5 and 30 cm below the ground; this is also why they are usually harvested in the wild by trained hogs and dogs.

Truffles form a symbiotic, mycorrhizal relationships with the roots of several tree species, primarily beech, poplar, oak birch, hornbeam, Hazel and pine and prefer argillaceous or calcareous soils which are well drained and neutral or alkaline. They fruit throughout the year, depending on the species, and, unlike above-ground mushrooms, don’t grow stems and caps. This means that the spore-bearing part of the truffle is fully enclosed and dependent on animals, like squirrels or chipmunks, to help spread the spores above ground. In Italy, the prized black and white winter truffles are found in Umbria, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio, Abruzzo and Molise.