Truffles are an edible fungi that grow underground at the base of certain types of trees. They are considered to be a delicacy because of their high cost and the difficulty it takes to find them. They are commonly associated with France and Italy, but can also be found in certain areas of North America as well. Hunting for truffles in Illinois requires employing the same tactics that you would in any other location.
Familiarise yourself with how truffles look before beginning your search. Be aware that they come in different colours including black, white, red and brown.
Hunt for truffles in Illinois only under the following weather conditions. The temperature must be warm and you should only search about two weeks after a significant rainfall. This is the ideal criteria for a search and gives you the best odds of making a find.
Look for truffles only near certain trees like beeches, birches, pines, firs, hickories and oaks. Only these trees provide the needed conditions for truffles to grow.
Look for umbrella shaped mushrooms located near the base of those trees. They are good indicators that truffles could potentially be near by.
Look for burrows near the base of the correct trees that have been dug by rodents. They also frequently search for truffles and this can be another indicator that you are on the right track.
Rake around the burrows going three to four inches deep using your garden cultivator. Look closely and collect any truffles you find and place them in a small paper bag.
Be diligent in your search because locating truffles is not an easy task.
Never place truffles in a sealed bag because they will become slimy and develop a bad odour. Do not eat any truffles until you have them inspected by a professional that can identify that they are not poisonous.