[CBC뉴스] COVID-19 봉쇄와 수요 감소로 올해 크로아티아의 연례 송로 박람회가 취소되었다. 하지만 크로아티아 남성들과 개들은 겨울 사냥철이 진행 중인 것처럼 나라의 북서쪽 끝을 평상시처럼 샅샅이 뒤지며 별미를 찾고 있다.
아이스트리아의 아드리아 반도는 습한 토양과 오크 숲으로 언덕에 검은 송로버섯이 자라기에 완벽한 환경을 제공하고 계곡에 있는 소중한 하얀 송로버섯을 자랑한다.
A COVID-19 lockdown and falling demand put paid to Croatia's annual truffle fair this year, but men and their dogs are combing the country's northwestern tip as usual as the winter hunting season for the delicacy gets under way.
The Adriatic peninsula of Istria boasts the humid soil and oak forests that provide the perfect growing environment for black truffles in the hills, and the prized white ones in the valleys.
Truffle hunter Nikola Tarandek from the medieval town of Motovun walks the forests around his home town with his specially-trained dogs Nero and Mala in search of the fungi.
He was delighted with a fist-sized white truffle sniffed out by Nero, which could be worth 3,000 to 3,500 euro ($3,567 - $4,161) per kilo "on a good day", Tarandek said.
The coronavirus outbreak has this year almost halved revenues from Croatia's tourism industry, which accounts for around 18% of its economy and, along with the export market, is a mainstay of truffle consumption.
At the Zigante restaurant in the nearby village of Livade, truffle shavings garnish various dishes - from pasta to truffle-flavoured ice cream.
The restaurant's marketing director Alen Begagic said it was popular with food lovers, continuing a culinary tradition going back to the Renaissance.
Restaurant owner and veteran truffle hunter Giancarlo Zigante said they were still managing to sell some truffles in the restaurant and his shop, and said as long as the government did not order a lockdown his business would be fine.
Zigante has been hunting truffles since 1971. In 1999 he and his dog Diana found a 1.31 kg (2.88 lb) truffle, then the world's largest according to the Guinness World Records. The current record-holder was found in Italy in 2014.
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