The earthy, excited snuffle of a curly coated lagotto romagnolo, scenting its prize, is unmistakeable.
These are the specially trained dogs that are a truffle-hunter’s most prized possession. It is these irrepressible creatures that lead our guests through the woods during truffle hunts.
The results of such outings are never guaranteed but guests will often return clutching a bag containing several encrusted objects that look like large, preserved blackberries or small, misshapen potatoes.
The former, black truffles are our normal find. On rare occasions, particularly in the Fall, some lucky guest returns with the widest of grins suggesting they have bagged white truffles.
Either way, these truffles soon make the way to the kitchens where they will be used to add the rarest of compliments to the guests’ lunches or dinners.