Truffles grow underground, which is why we need specially trained animals in order to find them. They can be detected by their distinct scent. Formerly, pigs were used, although these days the most common method to find truffles is using the dogs’ sharp sense of smell.
Dogs locate the site where truffles can be found by their aroma, and start digging with their paws in order to ‘mark’ the very exact spot where the truffle is. The “truffle man” then recollects the precious fruit.
There is a close bond between the dog and the person, which results from their artisanal collaboration, and is created and based over a mutual sense of respect and appreciation.
The harvest season of black winter truffle (Tuber melanosporum) goes from November 15th until March 15th.