Istria is one of global truffle centres.
White truffle is the most expensive mushroom in the world. Like gold, it is measured in grams, the price is formed depending on supply and demand, and larger specimens are sold at auctions. All those interested in the magical world of this underground mushroom flocked on Sunday to the opening of the Zigante Truffle Days in Livade in Istria. Everybody else can come to the Istrian town every weekend until 30 October to enjoy the fair, reports Glas Istre on September 18, 2016.
The event was opened by Tourism Minister Anton Kliman. “Today in Istria we have excellent fairs of wines, olive oils, hams, cheeses, and this fair of truffles and indigenous local products could become a major event for Croatian gastronomy”, said Kliman.
Visitors were welcomed by the Guinness World Record holder Giancarlo Zigante, famous for finding the largest truffle in the world. He noted that he expected the during the next seven weekends about 30,000 visitors from around the world would come to Livade. Deputy Prefect of Istrian County Giuseppina Rajko thanked the Zigante family for their promotion of truffles and added that Livade had become world famous due to truffles.
The Mayor of Oprtalj Municipality Aleksander Krt pointed out that his municipality has supported similar events since 1994. “In this way, we have managed to turn truffles into a driving force of development in inland part of Istria”, said Krt.
This year, the exhibition area cover more than 1,000 square metres and includes about fifty producers of wines, truffles, hams, olive oils, cheeses, honey, brandies and other local products from Istria. In addition to presentation and tasting of indigenous local products, some visitors decided to go on a trip in a tourist train to the heart of the Motovun forest and tried to find truffles themselves.
The truffle season has just started. The amount of white truffle available is still a bit low, so the retail price is therefore quite high. A kilo of first class white truffles was sold at a price of 18,000 kuna, while black truffles could be bought for 3,500 kuna a kilo.
Team from Tokyo TV from Japan came to the opening of the fair. They are producing a special show on Croatia, and the story about Livade and truffles will be just one segment. In addition to Istria, they have also visited Zagreb, Petrinja, Lipik, Zadar, Šibenik and Dubrovnik.