Enjoy the best truffle dishes
Truffle dishes – the highlight of gourmet cuisine
Istrian truffles are a food that every experienced gourmet will describe as a supreme gastronomic delight, and truffle dishes are a highly esteemed speciality in many top restaurants. This delicious food with its unusual form and strong aroma has been regarded as an aphrodisiac since ancient times, and the fact that it grows underground and can be found only with the help of well-trained dogs makes it truly special.
The story of truffles
Aphrodisiacal properties were attributed to truffles as far back as the ancient Romans. This came from the belief that truffles were the result of thunder being thrown at oaks by Jupiter. Since Jupiter was known for his sensuality, this was the origin of attributing aphrodisiacal properties to truffles. In the Middle Ages, the truffle was highly appreciated among nobility. In the 18th century, the composer G. Rossini called it the "Mozart of mushrooms", though the white truffle gained world fame only in the 20th century thanks to the promotion of the Italian hotel and restaurant owner from Alba, Giacomo Morra.
Istrian truffles – among the best in the world
Besides those from Alba and Piedmont in Italy, and Provence in France, truffles from Istria are among the most highly appreciated in the world. The best Istrian truffles can be found in the Motovun Forest in central Istria (about 40 minutes by car from Opatija), where the moist soil provides ideal conditions for the growth of several truffle species, the River Mirna provides nourishment for their growth, and the various types of oak, which live in symbiosis with truffles, gives them their specific aromas and scents.
It is interesting that truffles in Istria, unlike other regions, can be found all year round. The most appreciated are the noble white and black truffles. The Istrian white truffle is considered to be one of the best in the world and should be savoured from September to December. It is distinguished by its specific taste and smell. It is consumed raw and is the most expensive truffle species. The noble black truffle grows throughout the winter and is the most highly appreciated and expensive species of black truffle. It should be cooked briefly before serving.
Istria boasts the biggest truffle ever discovered: the 1.3-kg truffle found by Giancarlo Zigante.
Which truffle dishes should you taste?
Istrian truffles are offered in all quality restaurants in Opatija. In the hands of an experienced chef, this delicacy turns into a truly special gourmet delight. Truffles are today served with various fish and meat dishes, and are especially popular in combination with homemade pasta. Truffle dishes that are particularly worth tasting are scampi with truffles, fuži or tagliatelle pasta, and beefsteak with grated truffles. The secret consists in grating tiny slices of fresh truffle on freshly prepared food to release the intensive aromas and scents that are best combined with high-quality Croatian wines, particularly Istrian Malvazija, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon served with beefsteak.
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