Mushrooms and Truffle Hunting in Greece

Greek GastronomyMainland Greece

You experience the rare ecosystems of Pindus Mountains and the Zagori area on foot, as you follow the dogs and your experienced guides hurriedly through the woods.

The forests around here are wonderful no matter what season you visit them. So it doesn’t really matter if you want to experience the hunt like a long relaxing walk with the possibility of a really tasty surprise or like a treasure hunt for some of the best tastes in the world. No matter what you choose the especially trained dogs get really committed to their frenzied truffle safari. They sniff about, luring you into their surge and excitement as they start digging for this edible treasure and soon you are hooked looking around and after them. The truffle is one of the best flavorings which can be used in the kitchen and is preferably consumed fresh. It fully displays its qualities once ripe. Each variety of truffles has its own particular, typical aroma, which is suitable for specific culinary uses. So it is always a bonus to see what kind of truffle the dogs will dig up for you.

Searching for truffles in the woods Photo Credit: Yannis Varouhakis

But even if you don’t find the expensive and unique tasting truffles your guides can safely lead you through the world of mushrooms, teaching you which ones are edible and which poisonous.

The dog seem to have found something Photo Credit: Yannis Varouhakis

It goes without saying that you have to get really experienced guides as they must not only have absolute knowledge on mushrooms – an old saying goes like “all mushrooms can be eaten but some of them only once” – but also of the places they grow depending on the season and the weather of the previous weeks.

Praise the dog! Photo Credit: Yannis Varouhakis

And along the way you will learn all the myths and stories surrounding these delicious, and healing or killing fungi, roaming in their fairytale habitat.

The truffles Photo Credit: Yannis Varouhakis

Of course the ideal end to such an experience is tasting your own catch. Your guides can arrange it so that you get back to one of the local guesthouses. In its kitchen you can cook your truffles or mushrooms, either according to your tastes and culinary expertise or by learning -practically on the spot- recipes from the local cuisine. This way even if your truffles catch is not big enough for some of it to be taken home, you still have new entries for your recipes notebook back in your kitchen!

Cooking the truffles Photo Credit: Yannis Varouhakis

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