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Now 9, Dora has been Sacchetto's constant companion since she was an eager young puppy learning how to use her sensitive nose to sniff out truffles buried beneath the forest floor.Now when Dora locates a truffle, she wags her tail excitedly over the spot where a valuable tuber awaits – usually buried between 10-30 cm below the surface.Sacchetto was 14 when he first went truffle hunting, with his grandfather. "There is not an imminent threat but we have to be proactive," Sacchetto says.Helpful measures include thinning denser woodland and planting new trees but coordinating action is complicated, notably because the hunters who know where truffles are produced often do not own the land on which they forage.Alba is already well-known in gastronomic circles as home to some of Italy's most famous red wines and it has been hosting an annual white truffle fair since before World War II, drawing in thousands of gourmet pilgrims for nearly two months of tasting, buying and selling.Harvested from Sept. 21 until the end of January, truffles need both rain and cold to thrive, according to Sacchetto.
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