Almost every year one of Marky’s Caviar managers visits fresh truffle markets in Italy ( Alba region ) and in France ( Perigord area ).

The fungi known as the Black Truffle (Tuber melanosporum) is found in southern France and Italy.

They are found in open woodlands and forests and grow in association with the roots of the oak tree - hence slightly below the surface of the earth.

The fungi is harvested in the summer, late autumn and winter, often using dogs or pigs that are specially trained to detect the smell of the truffles in the woods.

Specialist 'truffle harvesters' (usually locals who are very familiar with the terrain and have experience of locating them) can also identify the spore pattern - a darkened area on the ground which looks burned - in the vicinity of truffles when the ground has not been disturbed.

Although associated with oak trees, truffles also need sunshine, otherwise they become rotten with the dampness in the ground. So very open woodland is the most likely conditions.

On the attached pictures you can see Mr. Mark Gelman with his daughter Estie and son Michael visiting fresh truffle market in Italy, Alba in 2005 year.