For a real gourmet experience with fresh white and black truffles rasped in thick layers over your steak, carpaccio or pasta you have to visit Istria in autumn! We visited the one day event ‘Truffle and Teran Wine Festival‘ held in the picturesque hilltop town Motovun one Saturday in October.
Arriving there by car we parked and took the bus up to the hilltop town with it splendid views just when the sun was setting. You can also walk up the hill from the parking space below if you are up to it. A big white tent was placed on the central square in front of the old church, where inside many local cheese, wine and other delicatessen producers were present with their delicacies on display and with the opportunity to try them out. In the background lively music was playing along with the chatter of the many locals and tourists that where enjoying the event.
Many restaurants in Istria have items on their menu that go along with truffles. The best known is probably fuži with truffles, but if you like steak you should try the steak grilled over a wood fire with fresh truffles on top or carpaccio with truffle. All this is sprinkled with local olive oil and you can wash it down with the excellent local red wine – Teran.
…what are truffles???
Truffles are a kind of edible mushroom and are considered a delicacy due to its very characteristic flavour and intense aroma. Truffles grow underground in symbiotic relationships with trees, grow only in specific areas and are difficult to find, usually only with the help of highly trained trained pigs and dogs.
Although dogs are preferred as pigs are known to eat the delicacy before it is taken form them. There are many types of truffles, but generally divided into white and black truffle. Truffles are found in certain regions in France (Périgord), Italy (Piedmont) and Croatia (Istria). To keep the aroma and flavour truffles are not cooked but rasped freshly over the cooked dish, like soup, pasta, eggs or meat.