Truffles, unusual and expensive mushrooms grow in the forests of the Republic of Srpska, and this underground treasure is successfully found by Mijodrag Vuković from Banjaluka.
He is also involved in processing these expensive mushrooms, with the desire to make them a symbol of Srpska. Products made of black gold are called “Wolf Truffles” and will be exhibited for the first time at Krajina House in Banja Luka. They are also the first truffle product in the Srpska region. Vuković says that the prices are adjusted to the standard of our consumers and that one gram of truffles costs KM 0.60, which is one-third of the European price.
– Truffle is a rare, delicious but also very healthy delicacy. We know that amino acids are food for the brain and there are 13 of them in truffles, it is clear why it is so healthy. In the kitchen, they can be used in many ways, with sweet, salty and sour dishes. They are good in combination with pasta and meat, but also with brandy – said Vuković.
Our truffles are far better than those from countries where industrial development has led to forest pollution, Vuković explains.
– The love for mushrooms came from my childhood when I was looking for them with my father. Six years ago I came across Zoran Davidović, who was a pioneer in this area. Since then, the pursuit of truffles has become a hobby for me. Later, I acquired dogs and began to learn more about this specific type of fungus – said Vukovic. He stressed that he did not want to sell truffles in Italy and Germany, but wanted them to become a recognizable symbol of the Republic of Srpska.
This unusual job requires education, which is not an easy task, since literature available in Serbian is very scarce.
– Hidden mushrooms are not easy to find and it takes a lot of effort, perseverance and love. I knew how to go 15 kilometers without finding any truffles. However, when someone is in love with this, it is no problem for him to go 100 kilometers in search – said Vuković.
He emphasized that our area is unexplored, but that Srpska is among the richer countries, not only in quantity but also in truffle health.
– They can be found at Mladen Stojanović Park and campus, but I avoid such places because of pollution. The surrounding forests are of the highest quality. We have the ideal conditions for their growth. About 160 types of truffles have been discovered in Europe, many of which exist in our region – said Vuković.
He started making these mushroom products to extend the shelf life of fresh truffles, which, after 15 days, have decayed.
– I happened to have fresh truffles, but I didn’t have anyone to sell them. This is how spreads and truffles were created. Black truffle is topical, made with olive oil and sea salt, without chemistry, without additives and flavor enhancers, which is very important. Spreads are made by combining truffles with butter, but also with honey – said Vuković, adding that as the season progresses, the supply of these mushroom products will increase.