Certain people perceive truffles just a tasty food, but for us, truffles represent a tradition that has become love for all generations. Back in 1966, our grandfather Ivan realized that these are not just stinky potatoes, as the Istrian peasants popularly called them at that time, but a local treasure that makes the Motovun forest unique. At that time, the Motovun Forest was larger than it is today, and it is believed that the best quality truffles in Istria grow there. Not far from the village of Paladini, where we come from, is Lake Butoniga and is reputed to be one of the most generous sites for truffles. Come with us and see for yourself!
From hobby to the family business
For our grandfather Ivan, a walk in the forest with his dog was enough for him to conclude that truffles could become his new passion. It was then that he laid the foundations of our family business with only one dog and then devoted himself to truffles. From the age of 10, his daughter and the owner of the company Karlić Tartufi Radmila Karlić, who founded the company GIR d.o.o. in 1994, learned the business with him pursuing the right steps in order to leave a historical mark in the tradition of hunting and selling truffles for the Karlić family.
And so it was! Today, everyone in the Karlić family deals with truffles – hunting, buying, growing, processing and selling fresh truffles. Of course, we are not alone in this. There are also our eight trained family dogs, without whom a man is powerless while searching for that prized mushroom that grows underground.
Već 57 godina preuzimamo odgovornost za tradiciju okusa i vaš užitak.
And the award goes to…
Our truffles and their magnificent specialties are proud winners of several national and international awards. Back in 2017, after more than two decades of persistent work, sacrifice and dedication, we received the Golden Coat of Arms of the Town of Buzet – an award for an exceptional contribution to economic and social development and an incentive for the tourism promotion of Buzet region.
Recently, similar news came from the international fair “With Sausage in the EU” in Sveti Petar u Šuma, where we won gold with our deer salami with truffles. We have no doubt that in the future other products, such as our chocolate or truffle gin, will be noticed at similar fairs that will continue to promote the wealth of Istrian production.
A mushroom that represents music
For all those coming for the first time, it’s best to start from the beginning and introduce this gastronomic giant. A truffle is an underground tuberous mushroom with a specific taste that is considered the pinnacle of gastronomy. We recognize white and black truffles, which differ in their ripening time. These truffles grow in the heart of Istria, in wet and gray land in the forests near Buzet through which the Mirna river flows. These hidden treasures are found with the help of specially-trained dogs. Besides being man’s best friends, they are excellent trackers of these underground giants.
In the valley of the river Mirna, you can find highly prized white truffles that ripen in early autumn and black truffles (Tuber Aestivum Vitt, Tuber Brumale, Tuber Melanosporum) that can be found both in winter and summer.
When and where are truffles harvested ?
Maybe you’re already imagining the ideal holiday full of adventures for all the senses. Don’t worry! The adrenaline rush that comes with truffle hunting is unique for all visitors, but before that happens, we’ll explain when and where truffles are harvested.
The season for looking for and picking truffles in Istria starts in the spring and lasts until the end of the calendar year. While the black truffle grows in the forest all year round, the white truffle will grow from autumn to the end of the year. Because of this, white truffles are rarer and more expensive and depending on their size, they are classified into classes from third class to extra class (so-called jokers). Their price can reach up to 5,000 euros per kilogram. Unlike the black ones, so far there are no good results in cultivation of white truffles in the forest and they are most often found along the Mirna river and in the Motovun forest complex. The black ones are located in the surrounding hills of the oak forest leading us to plant 3,000 oak and hazelnut trees next to centuries-old forests.
Surrender to the magnificent forests of inner Istria and go truffle hunting with the Karlić family! We will prepare a tasting of truffle products for you in a beautiful ambiance and you’ll able to buy the products in our store. The guided truffle hunting tours we offer to our guests are a unique experience. Truffles can be eaten all over the world, but you can’t go hunting for them anywhere else.
First Croatian truffle museum
Truffle lovers and everyone who is about to become one – beware! In our village of Paladini near Buzet, we’ve opened a Truffle Museum that is unique for all the senses. In a traditional Istrian stone house on two floors, we present to you the history of truffle growing in Istria and the role of the Karlić family in its development. Through interactive content you can learn all about the most famous white truffle, tuber magnatum pico. You can see and smell all six types of truffles that grow in Istria and there is also the largest truffle in the world, weighing 1.31 kilograms, which has entered the Guinness Book of Records. It was found by Giancarlo Zigante, the founder of truffle-making in Istria. Mr. Zigante donated the moulding of the largest white truffle to the museum.