This is how one truffle made all the difference in the world…
It was back in the early days of November 1999, when Mr. Giancarlo Zigante took his loyal and well trained dog Diana into yet another truffle-quest deep into the Motovun Forest. Like every truffle hunter, he hoped to someday find that one great specimen of white truffles, but he certainly couldn’t imagine that this exact day would change everything for him, but also for the perception of Istrian truffles on the wider, global scale.
After quite some time spent in search for truffles, Diana finally gave out the signal and marked the spot where she found the “mushroom of all mushrooms”, but from the way she was anxious Mr. Giancarlo felt that something was odd. It wasn’t until after he carefully started digging out the truffle, he realized that he was facing the biggest specimen of Istrian white truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico variety) he has ever seen in his long truffle-hunting career.
After carefully taking out the truffle found and cleaning it, it was the time to measure weight. When the scale showed 1310g, Mr. Giancarlo knew it was probably one of the record holders, certainly his personal if nothing else. It was soon discovered that this truffle, which was named Millennium, was actually the biggest truffle found at the time anywhere in the world, and as such, together with Mr. Zigante it entered the prestigious Guinness Book of Records. That moment, and one decision that followed changed everything.
Instead of selling it to the highest bidder, Mr. Giancarlo Zigante decided to make a celebration, and serve the Millennium truffle to the visitors and guests. Istria was well-known for truffles at the time, but after that festival the whole region, especially village Livade near the Motovun forest, became a world truffle center and one of the most desirable destinations for many gourmands in search for quality truffle flavors.