The truffle: an enchanted treasure in the Pisan hills
The truffle, a fungus of exceptional value, only grows in pristine areas where pollution is mostly absent, among hills of dense forests where nature is the main protagonist of the environment.
We have just walked through the door of theSavini Museum and feel warmly welcomed, keeping firmly in the tradition of the Tuscan countryside, as was once the case in the taverns outside the door. We are in the Pisan hills, between San Miniato and Forcoli.
It was from here that Zelindo Savini‘s adventure began, as he gave up his job as gamekeeper with an important local family to open his osteria, which also included a bar and a restaurant, marking a landmark for a long time for the small town of Montanelli, in the heart of the province of Pisa.
As Cristiano, the grandson who now owns the business, explains, his grandfather was among the first to understand the potential of truffles on the market, which at that time were given as waste food to animals, traveling directly to northern Italy in order to resell them himself.
In a short time the truffle became a well-known, highlyvalued and highly paid product. But all this entailed, as it still does today, constant effort and attention, especially with regard to the fundamental role exercised by the protagonists of the search for this very special fungus, that is the dogs.
We are in the woods just a few kilometers from the farm, and the two “Lagotti Romagnoli” sniff all the roots of the oaks and almost always end up finding something, living this moment as if it was a game rather than a mission.
We are surprised to observe how much our two companions, who lead the dogs in the search, have an absolute respect for these woods. Each hole dug by the dogs is covered just after bringing the truffle to the surface, thus leaving the ground compact as it was found…
Having finished our “truffle experience” in the woods, we are treated to an all-trufflelunch at the company’s headquarters. From crostini with truffle pate to classic tagliolini and a successful reinterpretation of tiramisu with a light truffle flavor. We appreciate for each dish the particular scent and all its intense taste, truly unique.
We thus leave an area made up of green hills with an unspoiled appearance, which contributes to the practicability of the search for this highly prized product, the white and black truffle.
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