Truffles are rare, edible fungi that grow underground and have a distinct smell and taste that’s highly desired in the culinary world. Truffles are difficult to find and even more difficult to grow, so many chefs will pay a pretty penny for them.
1.Go to western Europe or the Pacific Northwest. Truffles are hard to find. While you may be lucky enough to find a few in other areas, you’ll up your chances greatly by looking in countries in western Europe and U.S. states in the Pacific Northwest. More specifically, search through forests located in Italy, France, Oregon, and Washington.
2.Search where the soil is moist. Truffles thrive in moist soil, so search where the ground is often damp and/or spend the most time looking just after there’s been a lot of rainy weather. For the best results, search 10-14 days after a heavy rainfall has taken place.
3.Search near beech, fir, and oak trees. Trees that form ectomycorrhizal relationships with fungi, such as beech, fir, and oak trees, must be present in order for truffles to grow, because truffles attach to tree roots. Search for truffles around the bases of these types of trees
4.Look for browning dirt around the base of trees. Instead of wasting your time digging around every tree that could possibly have truffles growing on its roots, look carefully at the ground to see if there are any signs of fungus. If truffles are present, a “browning” effect called “brûlée” will make the ground look burnt, rough, and darker than surrounding areas because their existence prevents vegetation from growing.
5.Search for small holes in the dirt. Look very carefully at the “brûlée” areas for small holes. This is a sign that rodents have been digging in the area to look for food. Seeing a lot of these may mean that rodents smelled the truffles’ strong aroma and began digging to find and eat them.
6.Identify truffles by their resemblance to small potatoes. There are thousands of different types of truffles, most commonly black, white, or burgundy in color. When ripe and ready to eat, they’re typically between the size of a marble and the size of a golf ball. While their appearance varies, many of them seem to resemble small potatoes, so keep this in mind as you’re searching.