The true home of the Istrian truffle
Istrian forests are famous for many delicious culinary fruits and the most treasured of all are the truffles, gourmet delicacies worth their weight in gold. They are not easy to find, meaning you will need an expert guide in the company of their devoted dog to lead you into a true treasure hunt! A hunt that will leave you with pockets full of truffles.
Although truffles are almost solely associated with Italy and France, the Istrian dense oak forests and humid grey soil provide ideal growing conditions for black truffles in the hills, and white truffles in the valleys. The Istrian white truffle is considered to be one of the best in the world and should be savored from September to December. It is distinguished by its specific taste and smell, consumed raw and is the most expensive truffle species. The noble black truffle grows throughout the winter and is the most highly appreciated and expensive species of black truffle. It should be cooked briefly before serving.
The inland of Istria, precisely the area around the medieval town of Motovun, located in the northern central part of Istria is where Giancarlo Zigante, the owner of the Guinness World Record found a 1.310-kilogram heavy white truffle. With that event, Istria was added to the extremely short list of places where one can find white truffles. The most popular truffle place in Istria is without doubt the Giancarlo Zigante’s restaurant in Livade, located close to one of the most fertile natural habitat of truffles. The restaurant has the goal of presenting guests with the possibilities of using truffles in culinary art and it is the first Croatian restaurant specialized in truffle-infused dishes.
Thee international gourmet exhibition Zigante Truffle Days, the richest source of Istrian truffle, is organized every year in Livade. Istrians are aware of the value of their natural wealth and therefore the truffle fair is a unique opportunity to celebrate the Istrian cuisine gold. As a well-kept secret, the truffles of Istria have maintained a low profile and are waiting to be discovered.