The truffle business of the Karlić family from Paladini near Buzet was established last century by Mr Ivan Rašpolić, in 1966 to be exact. Back then Motovun forest was quite bigger than today. Both white and black truffles found in that area were considered to be among the best quality truffles in Istria. However, one of the richest truffle fields now lies at the bottom of the Butoniga lake!.
The longstanding experience of the Karlić family in truffle harvesting which has been passed over from generation to generation resulted in the establishment of the company GIR d.o.o. (Goran and Radmila) in 1994, a company that commits itself to truffle hunting with great dedication, through buying up and selling of fresh and frozen truffles, as well as processing and launching of the products in the domestic and international markets. Let us introduce to you our treasure – the truffle, a gastronomic delight in all its various forms.
Truffle in Buzet – the city of truffles
The forest surrounding Buzet is the home to a buried treasure. The truffle, this gastronomic giant, begins its grand feast in September. Spend Truffle Days in the company of giants. In 1999, Buzet was named the City of Truffles inside the Truffles Zone that stretches across three administrative areas: the city of Buzet, the municipality of Oprtalj, the municipality of Motovun. In the centre of these three administrative areas lays the Motovun forest, a habitat to the Istrian white truffle (tuber magnatum), a pricy tuber whose value is measured in grams. It has a distinctive smell, not a very striking appearance, but its taste is exquisite. Apart from white truffles, the area is also rich with other varieties of black truffle ( Tuber Aestivum Vitt, Tuber ubicatum, Tuber melanu sporum)..
Truffle is underground tuberous fungus that is considered to be the height of gastronomy. It grows in the heart of Istria, in a humid and grey soil of the forests near Buzet with the Mirna River running through it. This hidden treasure can be located by means of specially trained dogs. The area where truffles may be found is located southwest from Buzet and Lanišće all the way to the Raša River in the area of Labin and on the southern area to Pazin. In the valley of the Mirna River one can find the internationally much appreciated white truffles that mature in early fall, as well as black truffles which can be found both in winter and in summer.
Training for Truffle Seeking Dogs
With the help of their 12 dogs (7 first-rate dogs, 5 dogs currently undergoing training), some of which are mix-breeds (their extensive practical experience has taught them these dogs are more resilient to diseases, rain and low temperatures), and some are pure breed dogs, the family goes on daily truffle hunts. There is no fixed working schedule meaning any member of the family may go truffle hunting with the dogs, be it the son, the mother or the father; the crucial thing is, of course, to maintain a daily training routine for both the family and the dogs. The training starts when the the pup is about 3 months old. It should be carried out by the person who spends most time with it, and who will eventually become its guide in seeking truffles. The training is a serious matter, but it consists of various phases and is conceived as a form of playing and fun for the pup.