The first national museum
dedicated to this highly-appreciated fruit is located in the Allín Valley, 11 km from Estella-Lizarra and 55 km from Pamplona. Occupying a modern building, the museum brings visitors closer to the world of truffles through various media. Content panels, interactive multimedia and audiovisual shows, showcases and a shop comprise this ensemble dedicated to the truffle.Content of the museum
The truffle is an underground fungus that lives in association with some trees, such as ilex, oaks, chestnuts and walnuts. It is dark and has a characteristic aroma that makes it a highly-appreciated product in haute cuisine and a natural resource for the Sierra de Lokiz. Hence, the museum offers screening of images of this mountain range, with its impressive eroded limestone shapes.
One of the exhibition's star attractions is the tree that provides information on the search and collection of this fungus. The audiovisual presentation "in search of the truffle" covers this same theme as well. The museum also has a display on the biological cycle of the truffle. Only those specimens that survive high temperatures and drought survive. Although giant truffles are occasionally found, the normal size ranges between that of a grape and a potato. Museum shop
It is one of the few places you can buy truffles in Navarre
. During the black truffle and summer truffle season they are also sold fresh. You will find a wide range of products based on truffles
such as oil, vinegar, foie gras, sauces, pasta, chocolates... and a selection of preserves, liqueurs and wines from Navarre. It also has books on how to prepare this delicacy and other mushrooms, both in the kitchen and in the field.Discover the truffle and its history...
Its characteristic aroma cannot be detected by man, so truffle hunters have traditionally used pigs and even wild boar to scent them out. However, these animals tend to eat the truffles once they find them, so other species have been trained to find truffles —goats in Cerdagne and dogs in Spain. Expert truffle hunters also observe the behaviour of truffle flies to discover truffle finds.
Able to turn a simple dish into a luxurious delicacy, truffles have always been highly valued in haute cuisine. The most sought-after species are the Tuber melanosporum, known as the "black diamond", and the Tuber magnatum.
In ancient times, it was attributed aphrodisiacal powers. The Egyptians fried it in batter and the Greeks held a truffle-cooking competition in Athens in the 4th century BC. During the Middle Ages, its consumption ceased because it was considered a manifestation of the devil. This was because of its colour and amorphous shape and because it was found in forests, where witches and sorcerers lived.
In the 18th century royal cooks made the truffle fashionable again, and it has remained so until the present day. Raw or cooked, truffles ennoble timbales, blend perfectly with game and foie-gras and beautifully complement meat and egg dishes. Truffle-related activities
Navarre offers further opportunities to discover the world of truffles, such as the annual Truffle Fairs
held in Estella-Lizarra
and in Valdorba
, in November and December. At the latter, in addition to enjoying dishes made with truffles, visitors can witness a demonstration of truffle hunting with a sow. In Valdorba there are also guided truffle tours for groups, both in winter and in summer.