Croatian Forests and the Zagreb County Tourist Board signed an Agreement on Business Cooperation for the purpose of promoting truffle farming and truffle-related tourism. The agreement was signed with the aim of joint cooperation in promoting truffle growing, research and development of the Center for Mushroom Research, as well as publishing and branding truffle growing in the forest area of Zagreb County, which is managed by Croatian Forests as a new, undiscovered truffle area.
"It is important to point out that in May 2020 we started promoting a new attraction 'black truffle hunting' in Turopolje meadow and offered visitors to Turopolje a new and innovative tourist product, 'truffle hunting' for which there is a growing interest and interest of tourists. We have also established a value chain of the catering offer in a short period of time, ie we have started with the promotion and innovative approach to the development of the gastronomic offer with truffles in combination with the autochthonous cuisine of Zagreb County, ” points out Ivana Alilović, director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board. The news about the merging of the traditional ones resonated especially strudels with truffles. Truffles in Turopolje are available throughout the year and have found their way to the indigenous dishes of continental Croatia. Truffle strudels have already become a sought-after delicacy of the Zagreb neighborhood, which conquers with its aroma and taste. The rich gastronomic story of Zagreb's green ring is enriched with truffles, which are slowly entering even traditional recipes and giving them a whole new charm and appeal.
It is a new and quality tourist product and only half an hour from the center of Zagreb. At the very beginning, the campaign has already attracted a lot of media attention, but also the profession and visitors themselves, and it is to be expected that this new tourist story, which has exceptional potential, will be completed this year. It is now important to network all stakeholders in the process and brand Zagreb's black truffle as well as its tourist valorization.
Black truffles are found in the indigenous pedunculate oak forest, they are almost impossible to grow commercially, but knowledgeable people with trained dogs can find them. After hunting black truffles, it has been proven that it is not true that truffles grow only in Istria, and it even seems that the continental part of Lijepa naša is much richer in black truffles than other parts of Lijepa naša.
Most importantly, there are new ones 16 types of truffles which was analyzed, determined and authenticated by the professor Romano Božac. All these truffles, which were not recorded anywhere in the world until 2018, can be seen today in the Mushroom Museum on the central Zagreb Square. One of them, turopoljski truffle, named after the extinct Turopolje cattle, Tuber prigmenius bos, and the other bears the name of its inventor - Tuber Kolić. There are also Tuber uncinatum, Tuber macrosporum, Tuber mesentericum, Tuber brumale…
Through additional promotion of the Zagreb County Tourist Board, the potential of this exclusive branch of mushroom growing has found its way to local menus and encouraged caterers to pair traditional dishes of this area or discover new combinations.
It is necessary to develop the awareness of the local population and partners, and cooperation with Hrvatske šume doo gives us a flywheel because it is necessary to define the market and have support in using the forest area of Zagreb County, managed by Hrvatske šume doo for the purpose of developing the project "truffle hunting". and similar projects or events to promote truffle farming. I believe that we are on the right path for truffles to become a brand and a motive for coming to Zagreb County ", concludes Alilović.
"Thanks to the forestry profession, forests in Croatia have remained natural, which means that they have retained biodiversity and are rich, among other things, in forest fruits, such as truffles, which are the subject of this Agreement. Let's not forget that the most important functions of the forest are its general useful functions, which range from oxygen production, carbon storage, water filtration, all the way to recreational and aesthetic function, in which this project "truffle hunting" fits perfectly., he said Krunoslav Jakupčić, President of the Management Board of HŠ doo