Photographs & Words by} John Russo
Model } Ken Waller
When I am on vacation or exploring a new region I am always looking for new and exciting things to see and experience. While staying at Castelfalfi, in Tuscany, the GM, Isodoro DiFranco suggested (well insisted) we go Truffle Hunting. I was like, what the hell is that? lol I had no idea what is was or why it was even called a “hunt”. So my friend Ken and I said what the heck lets do it. We were picked up in a cool vintage Land Rover and driven to a remote part of the forest by the Master of the Hunt, Cristiano Savini. Cristiano comes a family who are passionate about Truffles. Since the 1920’s the Savini name has been synonymous with Truffles and the art of Truffle hunting.
The harvest mainly concentrates on White truffle (Tuber magnatum Pico), the most refined, and in second place other species available all around the region, like the March truffle (Tuber borchii Vitt), Summer truffle (Tuber aestivum Vitt), Tuber uncinatum, Prized truffle (Tuber melanosporum Vitt) and Winter truffle (Tuber brumale Vitt). The importance of truffle is also given by the remarkable number of truffle hunters, about 3500. Its’ a very popular sport to say the least. Many people in the region make their living by hunting Truffles. To say it’s competitive would be an understatement.
After the hunt we went back to the restaurant of the Savini family and the chef, Zelindo, (the patriarch of the family) prepared us lunch with the truffles that were found that day. I have to say I was not a fan of truffle until I tasted it in Tuscany. Now I am hooked.
This was definitely one of the best experiences I have ever had on a trip. I highly suggest it.
To find out more information about Savini Tartfufi follow them at @savinitartufi