Terra Fleurs Truffle Hunt 2018-01-31T23:58:03+00:00

Terra Fleurs Truffle Hunt

Truffles mushrooms are found underground, existing in a symbiotic association with fir trees. Truffles grow in the winter and the season extends from December through May. Because they can’t be seen in the dirt they are hard to find without using a dog to sniff them out. Truffles hunters without dogs use rakes to find truffles, which if not done properly can cause a lot of damage. The use of dogs to unearth the truffles is environmentally sound and sustainable.

Experience the opportunity and the thrill of finding culinary treasure in our local forests. Terra Fleurs offers guided truffle hunts (also called “forays”) for individuals or groups up to four people joined by James Nowak and Augie, his trained truffle hound — for groups of two or more, you’ll need to provide your own transportation. Forays go for 1 to 2 hours not including travel time.

We forage for mainly for these three truffle varieties and the best part is that you keep all the truffles we gather.

  • The black truffle (Lucangium carthusianum) with sweet fruity pineapple high notes and a chocolate finish
  • The Oregon white truffle (Tuber oregenense, photo below) has a robust savory aroma reminiscent of garlic and cheese
  • The spring truffle (Tuber gibbosum) is very similar to the Oregon white

Truffle Dogs

Animals have been used to find for truffles for as long as humans have desired them. I have seen 15th century wood-block prints depicting French truffle hunters having crossed into Spain to search for Truffles with muzzled sows. Though pigs have been the animal of choice for centuries, dogs have largely replaced swine because of their ease of handling.

Female pigs are born natural truffle hunters, attracted to the truffle aroma because it mimics the male’s pheromone scent. However a large pig can be difficult to manage and would rather eat the Truffle than surrender it for a bit of kibble. And pigs can become aggressive so you got to watch those fingers. But I have seen adorable little pet pigs that were fabulous truffle hunters.

Today dogs better fit most people’s lifestyles. Dogs make great friends and willing truffle hunters, any dog with a nose can be trained to find them, for more information on training, visit Toil&Truffle online. Northwest Truffle Company also offers a great price on training truffles should you decide to do your own training. But there is one breed that is especially adept at finding Truffles, the Lagotto Romagnolo.

These stout curly haired dogs have been traditionally used in Italy for this purpose. This breed is very old, predating poodles and other water dogs. These other breeds were developed from the Lagotto. Smart and easy to train, compact and water resistant, the Lagotto is a natural choice for a Truffle dog. So let me introduce my Lagotto, Augustus Ignazzio.

Augustus is a 5-year-old Lagotto Romagnolo. His coloration is what breeders call a brown rone. Mottled patches of white grey and brown, make for a beautiful coat. He is very handsome and irresistibly cute with a bit of attitude, he also happens to be an amazing Truffle hunter!

— Jim Nowak