ESCAPE- OLOGY Magazine Issue 1 - Page 10

To Do

What to do in Provence

Exclusive Truffles Hunting for Black Gold

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne Kauser-Abbott traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and social media consulting. Carolyne is the founder of the digital magazine Perfectly Provence Focused exclusively on Provence, this website is an essential online resource, a digital magazine for locals and visitors alike, with content collected from the region’s top regional writers. Among all her other experiences, Carolyne went to many truffle hunts. Here is what she remembers of her black gold rush .

The dogs dart in and out of the trees, as the truffle hunter (caveur or rabassier) scans their movements watching to see where, and if, they start to dig. A single word, the command to stand down, the dog steps aside allowing his master to take over. Gently loosening the dirt, the farmer extracts what appeared to be a lump of coal, a black truffle the size of a toddler’s fist. We had just witnessed a demonstration of how dogs are essential companions for the truffle hunt (le cavage). In most cases, dogs have usurped pigs as the more manageable truffle hunters. Hogs have an innate sense of smell, and they can reliably locate truffles but, the expensive issue is they like the taste of fungi. Alternatively, dogs require training to find truffles a lengthy process of dedicated, repetitive practice. However, the reward for all the drills is that a dog enjoys the hunt, the game of finding a truffle, but is not interested in eating the prize.