I am Giuliano Martinelli founder of Giuliano tartufi Srl
My adventure began forty years ago, when a little bit for fun .. a little bit for destiny, I discovered the world of truffles and immediately a great passion was born inside me
I was little more than a teenager, every morning I went out with my moped, I tied behind a small wooden box and brought with me my dog and the vanghetto* that my grandfather had given me: I grew up like this, in the awareness that the search for truffles is a real art, which is learned little by little and is learned with constancy, dedication and a lot of perseverance!
While cultivating my passion I first worked as a worker at a video game factory then I was hired by the Mountain Community ... over time, however, I started to feel that my heart was beating elsewhere!
One day like this I took courage and made the most important decision of my life: I quit and started to dedicate myself completely to the world of truffles!
Small steps, always in the same direction, always carrying on my ideas, without ever looking back: only in this way, I managed to become a highly experienced truffle hunter.
Over the years I have dealt with many professionals in the sector who have allowed me to increase my skills even more and also to become an expert connoisseur of truffle dogs: in my life, I have grown more than 120 specimens! until a few years ago, I met my beloved Lolita, my favourite adventure companion! The first time I saw her it was like seeing Maradona playing football as a child: I wanted her, I adopted her, I raised her, I taught her to look for truffles, with her I immediately established a truly special relationship.
The first years of work as a truffle hunter passed quickly until my instinct told me that it was time to give my profession a further turn: I decided to stop being "just" a truffle hunter and I started to buy and resell truffles.
During this new activity, I often happened that some small truffle was advancing, so I thought: "this that is left to me, because I don't do it in pieces and I keep it in a jar?"
I started with 3, then 14, then 53 jars! from there I never stopped!
My company Giuliano Tartufi Srl was born like this: with fresh truffles, with many small jars and also thanks to many men and women ... "crazy" and courageous who in recent years have followed, helped and supported me: it is also thanks to them that Giuliano Tartufi has arrived where she is now
At the beginning, the results were not always positive, but I never had the doubt whether to give up or continue because this is not a novel but it is my life: I remained the same as 40 years ago when I only had a dog, a moped and a vanghetto* because you either have the passion or you can’t create it!
*the vanghetto is a special tool similar to a small shovel
Truffle is an hypogeum (= that grows underground) mushroom, which comes from the roots of some of the most widely-spread trees in our region, such as oaks, aspens, lindens and hazel trees: thanks to the symbiotic relation knows as mycorrhiza, truffle and plant exchange water, nutrients and mineral salts.
Taking a close look to the truffle, we note on the outer part a sort of bark, known as peridium, that according to the variety can be either plain or wrinkled. The inner part, called gleba, is a meaty mass that depends on the truffle type.
The four main truffle varieties used in cooking are: the White, the Black, the Bianchetto and the Summer Black.
White truffle or Trifola (Tuber Magnatum Pico):
Hunting period: from October 1st till December 31st, depending on the regional calendars
Organoleptic features: peridium is plain, its colour ochre yellow or olive yellow.
Inner pulp is white-yellowish, with brownish shades that depend on the ripening, the soil and the plant with which the truffle is living in symbiosis. For example, truffles that grow next to oaks are featured by a hazelnut colour, those who live next to beeches are more reddish.
Smell is unmistakable and particularly pronounced.
Habitat: it grows especially in Umbria, Piedmont, Tuscany and Marche region.
Black truffle or Norcia truffle (Tuber Melanosporum Vittadini)
Hunting period: from November 15th till March 15th, depending on the regional calendars
Organoleptic features: peridium shows a black warty surface, sometimes with small reddish areas if the piece is unripe. Gleba is black-brown with very crowded mild and whitish vein. Il Smell is aromatic and not too pronounced, while flavour is always delicate.
Habitat: largely spread on the Central Apennines, in Piedmont and in the Veneto region. It can also be cultivated in eligible terrains, if properly reforested with specific tree species.
Summer black truffle or Scorzone (Tuber Aestivum Vittadini)
Hunting period: from May 1st till August 31st
Organoleptic features: peridium is black, with its typical large protruding warts.
Gleba is hazelnut-coloured, with numerous more or less thin whitish veins.
Smell is more delicate than the one of other black truffles, and flavour recalls somehow porcini mushrooms.
Habitat: Summer truffle creates a symbiosis with many types of plants, such as hazel trees, hornbeams, beeches, birches and pines.
It can be hunted all over Central Apennines, further to Piedmont, Campania and Emilia-Romagna regions.
Bianchetto truffle or Marzuolo (Tuber Borchii Vittadini or Tuber Albidum)
Hunting period: from January 15th till April 30th
Organoleptic features: peridium is plain; colour may vary from ochre yellow to dark or very dark orange.
Gleba is whitish at the beginning of the season; through ripening, it becomes more brownish and reddish. It shows quite ramified and whitish veins, that get darker over time. Smell is penetrating, with garlic notes.
Habitat: Bianchetto is a variety more widely-spread than others. It can grow in deciduous or conifer woods all over Italy, thanks to its capacity to adapt to different kinds of soil and to get into symbiosis with many different plants.
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