We employ only sustainable searching and harvesting practices. Unlike truffle raking, canine-detected truffle harvesting results in minimal disturbance to the earth. It also ensures that we harvest only fully mature specimens, leaving the immature truffles undisturbed, to ripen for future harvests.
Umami Truffle Dogs would never rake for truffles, a method used by many of our competitors. Truffle raking produces significant disruption of the soils and the mycorrhizae (the filament-like fungus body that gives rise to the truffles). Truffle harvesters who use rakes cannot call their methods “sustainable.”
A human with a rake can’t discriminate between young and mature truffles, but a dog can. This is crucial, because young, partially ripened truffles, once harvested, won’t continue to mature to their full potential. Immature truffles, out of the ground, will simply decompose and never ripen. Raking truffles uncovers truffles that are not only inferior in quality, but it reduces the number of truffles ultimately produced.
The fact that the first Oregon truffles were harvested by human raking led to initial misconceptions that Oregon truffles were not of high-quality. Immature truffles lack the flavor and aroma of mature ones — the same way a green-shipped supermarket tomato can’t compare to a vine-ripened garden tomato.
We’re dedicated to sharing sustainable practices with our clients and with all truffle lovers! If you care about stewardship of the environment, or you want to ensure a continuous supply of harvestable truffles for the future, choose only 100% canine-detected truffles. If you’re not sure what method a truffle harvester employs, please ask them directly. It’s an important question.