What is the best time to go searching for truffles?
Quite often people ask me questions like these: “What time you go searching for truffles? You go at night?”
My answer is necessarily intricated. As I told many times, every Region has its calendar and rules about hours, prohibitions and concessions.
In some Regions it’s possible to go during the night, in Piemonte, for example.
You can go searching for the Acqualagna’s or Alba’s White Truffle during the night.
In Monferrato this method of research dates back to the Savoy period when the truffle hunter were basically farmer and, covered by the darkness, they were hunting truffles that they could sell to wealthy lords, often the same unaware landowners who didn’t know those truffles came from their own lands!
Unfortunately, as in any business, time changed customs and traditions lost their original motivation. Nowsaday people go nightime for convenience and greed, even where isn’t allowed. Furthermore, in last years, people who dedicate to truffle research are increased and unfortunately suitable lands are constantly reducing in number. Economic crisis made the rest: even some mayor thoughtlessly start to advise those in need to devote to the discovery of the truffle. Consequence: a big concentration of people in the same place at the same time, with the result that many don’t find anything.
To bypass the problem, the smartest people (or so they feel) to anticpiate the competitor, go searching during the night. But since there’s no limit to the cunning, there’s always a smartest one, who decides to go before them.
In conclusion: at any hour of day or night it’s possible to find people searching.
The White Truffle
It must be said Acqualagna’s or Alba’s White Truffle are findable at every hour, it’s not a nocturnal fruit. It happens often to me to go in a way where the dog doesn’t find anything but, after a few minutes, when we go back to the car, the dog indicates the truffle. There is no specific time for truffle’s birth.
Personally I prefer to go searching at dawn and in daytime.
Night’s made to be passed with the family and to rest. During the night you can enjoy the pleasure of the dog’s search. I’m part of that group of romantic truffle hunters who, in addition to the discovery of the booty, we find fulfillment in the dog run, in observing and experiencing nature, not to fear it. At night you never know what to find: odds, wild animals (like the viper or the bear) you must always pay attention to understand if the sound through the leaves is made by your dog or some other animal…
Go searching for Black Truffle at night is a malicious nonsens: given that even the day it’s difficult to find, during the night there’s the risk of digging measureless holes, that can be dangerous for anyone walking over there.
The new Reagional Law of Marche hasn’t defined the hours. Still maintain the old rule that allow to start from one hour before the dawn until one hour after the sunset, thus leaving a certain inappropiate freedom in interpreting. Furthermore the controls are almost non-existent during the night: it’s summer or winter you can see woodlands and fields swarm of fireflies… and swarm of lanterns!