Every Day We’re Trufflin’

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Truffle season is well underway, with the decadent fungus gracing the menus of many of New York’s top restaurants. But, for connoisseurs who want more than to just taste, Belmond Castello di Casole offers the ultimate luxury truffle-hunting adventure.

“Belmond Castello di Casole’s guests who opt to join this experience will feel strong and pure emotions,” begins Mauro Nesi, a truffle hunter for over 20 years who now works with the Tuscan estate, which is a short distance from a natural truffle field. “Inside the hotel’s oak forest, you can find many kinds of truffle depending on the season,” he continues.

 Truffles, which have a more distinct scent as they mature, are gathered by seasoned hunters and trained dogs who sniff them out. Observing this relationship, explains Nesi, is a special experience. The dog feels a very serious kinship with its owner, “for whom he nourishes an unconditional love,” he says. The dog takes the hunt very seriously, reacting to scent of a truffle with a tail wag, with his movement, and with obvious excitement when he identifies one. 

“They will always remember the emotion of having experienced this ancient tradition, and of having witnessed the magnificent relationship between man and animal,” says Nesi of what guests can expect. “In addition, they will certainly value the truffle and appreciate the delicacy even more!”

Nesi comes from a legacy of truffle hunters, as he initially observed his grandfather at work. He trained under a teacher from San Miniato in the province of Pisa, which is known for its truffles.

The truffle hunting experience is a part of Belmond’s new Art of Gastronomy, a collection of food-centric activations across a number of Belmond properties. Other experiences include breakfast with the elephants at Belmond Savuete Elephant Lodge in Bostwana, a vodka and caviar master class in Russia, and a grand culinary tour of Asia. The offerings aim to tell the story of the location, and to give guests an authentic feel for the taste of surrounding area.

But, while guests will get to indulge in all the highlights of a truffle-hunting adventure, Mesi is quick to not give too much away. “The truffle hunters are very secretive of their findings,” he says. “You will never know who has found a particularly large truffle, since this could [reveal] their secret place.”

Which leads us to a great solution: To go to experience it for yourself.


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