For many foodies, truffles are one of life’s great culinary experiences and if you are a fungi fanatic, you are prepared to search high and low for your reward, a black or white truffle.
Here are five of the top destinations for finding the very best truffles available.
Alba in Italy
The trifola d’Alba is probably one of the most famous white truffles in the world and the annual harvest, which is held from mid-October until late December, features the showcase event of the calendar, The White Truffle Festival.
Part of the Alba Festival is a truffle hunt through the medieval village of Roddi and there is a restaurant there called Osteria dell’Arco which specialises in dishes aimed at fungi lovers during the truffle season.
Forcoli in Italy
Many people consider that the black Tuscan truffle can be just as good as the white truffle found in Alba, despite it not getting the same level of publicity.
Forcoli is a very small town near Pisa and the Savini family are responsible for hand-harvesting this sought-after delicacy for many generations. If you are staying locally there is also the opportunity to partake in a truffle hunting expedition with the Savini family or if you prefer someone else to do all the work, pick up one of their jars of black truffle paté
Vaucluse in France
This south-eastern region of France is considered to be one of the top spots for black truffles and it is harvested on Mont Ventoux from early November until the beginning of March.
Vaucluse is located in Provence and the area is an excellent base for a culinary holiday experience. You can probably find a house or apartment through the popular site HouseTrip, which offers properties owned by local people, giving you a more genuine feel of being a resident, albeit temporarily, compared to a hotel stay.
Some people might ask the question, Is HouseTrip safe? But when you see the very large number of positive reviews and experiences, it can very often be considered a good way of seeing and enjoying a region while having a local base with all the comforts of home.
Istria in Croatia
The northern Croatian cape is a well-known gem that is loved by truffle aficionados throughout the world. There are three black varieties that are harvested in this area and there are several guided excursions arranged locally through the legendary Motovun woods.
The hunters are probably hoping to emulate events of 1999 when the largest white truffle ever found was discovered near Buje.
Oregon in the United States
January 2014 will be the 9th year of the Oregon Truffle Festival and is the festival of its kind in the states.
You will be treated to four varieties of black and white truffles including the white wild Oregon truffle which is found in the Willamette Valley. Some purists who consider Europe to be the home of the truffle, still find it easy to scoff at the idea of New World tubers, but they grow in popularity and gain increased acceptance in restaurant kitchens for each year of the festival that passes.
If you are a fungi fanatic then you will almost certainly want to head to one of these destinations to indulge in your favourite culinary pursuit.
Andrew Matthews is addicted to food and travel. He enjoys finding and sharing his experiences with fellow travellers.