So this morning I was reading the Wall Street Journal Magazine, and I came across an article titled “American Truffle”, written by Andy Isaacson.
What caught my eye was the dog in the picture digging through the mud.
I read on, only to quickly realize there was so much I didn’t know about truffles.
I learned that the dog was a Lagotto Romagnolo, a breed of which I had never heard of, and his name was Tom.
Tom belonged to Jim Sanford and was a dog raised to discover culinary truffles. Before today, the only truffle I ever heard of was made of Chocolate, and I certainly had no idea where it came from. It turns out there are all kinds of truffles and Tom was hunting winter white truffles in the Oregon forest in the original picture I saw (Isaacson).
Before hunting truffles (“the strange fruit of a fungus”-Isaacson) in Oregon, Tom had a lot of success hunting truffles in Tennessee, he even unearthed $240,000 worth of Perigord truffles there. Luckily, Tom was partnered with a truffle enthusiast who not only started a truffle festival in Oregon in 2006, but also brought truffle dog training to the West coast (Isaacson).
Although I was completely oblivious to truffle dogs before, they certainly are gaining popularity as the price of truffles continues to rise.
It also seems like many breeds of dog are suited to hunt truffles. Some sites mentioned Dachshunds, German Shepherds, and Labradors as being the best breeds to hunt truffles, while other sites use Puggles, Lagottos and Australian Shepherds. If any local areas prove to be great truffle locations, Rooney may have a new job.
Did you know that dogs were used for hunting truffles?
Here are just a few links to sites with more information: