The best that the Hotel Kaštel, the valley Mirna and Istria itself can offer – are the famed Istrian white and black truffles. Unique because of their exceptional aroma and quality, Istrian truffles are a world renowned specialty and this statement is by no means immodest. The first truffles in the Mirna valley were found in the year 1929 and since then generations of truffle pickers every autumn dig out this underground mushroom from the moist Motovun soil and forest. In this region truffles are gathered with the help of specially trained dogs, trained to find the underground mushrooms using their sense of smell.
The best and most valuable is the Istrian white truffle (Tuber magnatum pico), which is gathered from the middle of autumn to the beginning of winter. Its intensive aroma blends wonderfully with pasta, especially with fuži, but also with other meat and vegetable dishes. Then there's the traditional Istrian fritaja (eggs) with truffles. Istrian black truffles are somewhat less pricy and are gathered from the middle of summer to late autumn. The legend about the aphrodisiac properties of truffles is no longer a legend: during chemical analysis, Italian scientists discovered that truffles contain pheromones, how they actually work – well its best you find out yourself.
Truffles can be found in other parts of the world, however these Istrian ones have a unique taste and once you have tried them, you will always want to return to them again. Other than giving them an exceptional aroma, the Motovun forest gives them other qualities too, maybe linked to the legends about giants and dragon's furrow: It is precisely here that the largest truffle in the world was dug up and recorded in the Guinness book of world records. It was found by Giancarlo Zigante and his dog Dijana close to the place Livade on the 02.11.1999, weighing 1, 31 kilograms!
In the restaurant of the Hotel Kaštel you can taste a variety of dishes with white and black truffles which are excellently complimented by the best wines of this region.
We'll be happy to organize for you the truffle hunting experience. Contact us for more information and to book this program!