They allegedly reached gods and witches in the past – today the most expensive food growing all across Europe, Asia, North and South America with most significant finding sites in France and Italy is a gourmet specialty for those of refined taste for these nugget-shaped delicacies.

The story of the Istrian Truffle begins in Istria, more precisely, in the valley of Istrian river Mirna – the most famous finding site in Croatia, about eighty years ago with the development of narrow-gauge railway connecting Porec and Trieste called Parenzana. The beginnings of its exploitation were initiated by a private company situated in Livade. After World War II, truffles were marketed by state owned companies, without promoting the original domestic product, as they were only interested in direct profit, rather than expansion of knowledge it is indeed in Istria, Croatia that they were found.

Istrian truffles at present are improving their status on the international market, mostly with their inclusion in the preparation of premium culinary specialties inspired by traditional local cuisine and dishes. Today the most widely recognized and valued is the Istrian white truffle, one of the most renowned in the world, even though the black truffle is slowly receiving the deserved recognition as well.


The game changer for the Istrian truffle tradition came in the shape of the ”Millenium” truffle – discovered on November 2nd 1990 by Giancarlo Zigante and his dog Diana in the Motovun forest near Livade, which, thanks to its weight of 1.310 g, was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest white truffle found in the world at the time. Instead of it being sold for a grand market prize, the truffle became the main dinner ingredient for hundred guests invited to the feast and the first promotion of Istrian truffles.

This celebration of the world record began the establishment the formal status of Livade in Istria as the center of the truffles world. The truffle replica is exhibited in the Zigante shop. Restaurant Zigante in the same location was also opened with the goal of presenting different ways to use truffles to create culinary art – it is the first Croatian restaurant specializing in dishes featuring truffles – in the heart of the most fertile natural habitat of truffles, an enviable location overall.