Size, shape and colour don’t matter. It’s all about the aroma: a bit of garlic, honey and pepper. Hunting for truffles is like prospecting for gold or diamonds. It’s exciting. Join the treasure hunt with Guido Manfredi and Imperio his Lagotto Romagnolo dog, the finest truffle-hunting hound in the forest. At the height of the season Barbialla Nuova dispatches 500g of the gnarled fungus every week to the River Café in London where punters pay £69.50 for a plate of taglierini pasta with 10 mouth-melting grams of shaved white truffle. Make the trip to Tuscany and you can devour them for a quarter of the price. True truffle hounds will hold out until November, when the nearby town of San Miniato holds its White Truffle Festival, transforming the whole city into a luxurious outdoor tasting arena. Barbialla Nuova farmhouse rooms from €90 for a double.
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