ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Food and Cooking»
  • Main Dish & Side Dish Recipes

How to Hunt for and Eat White Truffles

Updated on May 4, 2016


The Roero region is, with Langhe and Monferrato, where the precious white truffle, the “Tuber Magnatum Pico” or “Tartufo d’Alba”, is found.

Truffles are subterranean fungi which grow only in close association with trees. Their strong smell has been appreciated for centuries, and has delighted the tables of royalty, high prelates and people rich enough to be able to afford this delicacy. These include Churchill, the English Prime Minister during world War II, Ronald Reagan, the President of the US of A, and, in retrospect, the one guy responsible for the financial crash of 2008, Marilyn Monroe, an American idol and actress, and Valeria Marini, a less known Italian actress. It can cost up to six thousand Euros per Kilograms. One of the biggest ever found, if not the biggest, weighted a little more than one Kilo and was fetched by a London restaurateurs for US$ 52,000: the news was reported by ANSA, the Italian news agency, the 22nd of November 1954.

This was a monster of a truffle.

The vast majority found today weight between ten and forty grams. Twenty grams of the thing, cut in very fine slices, will properly smother your eggs, sunny side up.

Although it grows all year round in symbiosis with the roots of oaks, hazels, poplars or beeches, it is ripe, and at its best, from the middle of October until the end of January. This is when men and dogs roam the woods of “Le Rocche”, or the woods of Vezza d’Alba, day and night, in search of the precious fungi.

Truffles are very smelly when ripe. Their smell permeates the ground around which they grow to finally reach the surface. Trained dogs can smell the presence of the delicacy, which can be fifty centimetres or more underground, locate them precisely, and dig them out.

There is no particular breed of dogs which is deemed best for truffle hunting: any dog curious enough to wanting to play with its trainer will become a good hunter of truffles. Dogs are trained when young by hiding small pieces of truffle which they need to smell and find. Each time they succeed they are rewarded, generally with a croquette or anything else edible to them. It may take up to three months to properly train a dog.

Hunting for truffles is a man and dog affair, where the man constantly prods the dog to search for truffles in places where he knows there must be some, to then briskly walk away to other such places where the dog is prodded again.

The dog must be constantly prodded to look for truffles: otherwise it would rather mark the area as his, by pissing on top of other dogs’ piss: but since there would be no reward for pissing around it ultimately spends most of its time looking for truffles. When a truffle is ripe a good dog will smell it: it will then start digging it out, ferociously, with both of its paws. This is when the truffle hunter will call the dog back, and dig the ground himself with a small spoon-like tool, carefully scraping the dirt around the place where the truffle should be, very attentive not to damage the fungi. Once the truffle is dug out it is stored in a special pouch, a small leather bag held around the chest, and the dog is rewarded for having done a good job. A truffle hunting excursion may last all night: the man will walk up to fifteen kilometres, and the dogs at least trice that.

Two important things must be said about truffle hunting. The first one is that no truffle hunting dog will ever get fat hunting truffles.

The second one is that truffle hunting is done mostly at night not because it is easier to keep secret the places where truffle are found from other hunters, but because a “trifulau” generally has a full time job keeping him busy in daylight.

The truffle hunter is called “trifulau” in the local dialect, and a truffle is a “trifula”.

White truffles are sliced over eggs, sunny side up or easy over, Carpaccio of veal, and pasta: anything, really, which taste and smell is delicate enough so as to enhance the smell and taste of the white tuber.

Here’s two simple recipes that can be prepared by anybody.

“Uova al Tartufo Bianco” (White truffles with eggs) - for 4 people

Ingredients: 30 grams of white truffles, 4 eggs, butter.

Preparation: store the raw eggs and the white truffles, wrapped in a paper towel, in a glass jar and close tight. Put the jar in the fridge and leave for at least 2 hours (an overnight is better). Fry the eggs in butter either sunny side up or over easy. The raw eggs will have absorbed the smell of the truffle. Keep the truffle for the pasta you will be serving later.

Served: as an appetizer, right away, with Arneis.

“Tajarin al Tartufo Bianco” (Noodles with White truffles) - for 4 people

Ingredients: 500 grams of “Tajarin”, NOT spaghetti, nor SPAGHETTINI: “Tajarin”, the 30 grams of truffles you saved from the recipe above, 30 grams of butter.

Preparation: Bring a pot of water to boil and salt it (the right quantity of salt will immediately stop, for a few second, the water from boiling). Add the pasta and stir to prevent clumps. Keep boiling for the recommended time, generally 3 minutes, and check that the “taiarin” are al dente. While the “tajarin” are cooking melt the butter on a frying pan. Drain the “tajarin” then pour them in the frying pan and cook for a few seconds while stirring. Serve the “tajarin”, then use a mandolin to shave the truffle on top of the dish.

Served: as an entrée, right away, with Arneis or Barbera d’Alba

A pretty big one, maybe 300 grams, good for tons of servings of "tajarin"
A pretty big one, maybe 300 grams, good for tons of servings of "tajarin"
From "" white truffle on top of a egg
From "" white truffle on top of a egg


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • francograsso profile image

      francograsso 7 years ago from Roero, Piedmont

      Is one of the best president you ever had (beside having a brain and using it). He inherited most of what's happening, including your huge deficit and joblessness from the very pretenders of fiscal probity: the Republicans!! Do you people really want Sara be representing you on teh world scene???

    • profile image

      Betty 7 years ago

      Wow- your site reads 'blatantly liberal'!

      Question for you- what do you think of Obama and our current financial and jobless situation?

      (there are as many jobs as in 2007- that's during Bush!)

    • profile image

      mrx 7 years ago

      i use my 3 year old lurcher,and this year so far has found me around 65 70 truffles,i started him with a truffle in a sock an still take it with me when truffling

    • francograsso profile image

      francograsso 7 years ago from Roero, Piedmont

      A young dog, you'd have to buy it young otherwise it would not listen to you, could cost as much as € 2,000.-

      It's cheaper to cover your risotto with white truffle.



    • Ignatius J Reilly profile image

      Ignatius J Reilly 7 years ago from London

      Fantastic hub! I adore Truffles. I can't really afford them, but despite this I do dream of eating a huge risotto, or a simple omelette just covered in white truffle. I've always hoped that one day I might find a truffle like this - so I could eat the whole thing without having to bankrupt myself. How much for the dog?!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)