Quick Information About Truffles.
What is Truffle?
The truffle is an underground fungus, which means that its fruit bodies form, grow, and mature underground. Truffles are a unique category of mycorrhizal fungi as they also serve as an important food source for forest animals, thus providing important food web links between plants and animals.
In addition to their roles in natural ecosystems, truffles are one of the most desirable culinary foods with a global market of more than $40 million. The French Perigord truffle “Tuber melanosporum” is among the most valuable crops in the world. It is in high demand around the world for culinary purposes, with prices ranging from $1,000 – $1,500 or more per kilogram and the demand far exceeds the world supply.
Périgord Truffle was originally limited in distribution to southern Europe, where it is associated with oak trees and hazels bushes. However, today Périgord Truffle is grown by planting inoculated plants around the world. When planting in suitable soil, with appropriate care, truffles can start to produce within four to five years. The truffle is then produced annually and is mature to harvest from December to April.
They grow underground because their growth is affiliated with tree roots, so it is hard to find truffles which are 100% mature. Immature truffles have little aroma and so do not have culinary value. The best way to ensure to only pick mature truffles, is to have a well-trained dog. Truffle cultivation is complicated, the success of truffle cultivation depends on the correct assessment of a great many factors: land use history, soil characteristics, choice and geographical source of truffle species, choice of host tree species and provenance, orchard design and management. So, establishment of a successful truffle orchard therefore requires both a dedicated property owner eager and able to follow instructions, and an expert consultant in truffle biology and truffle culture capable of skillfully guiding the grower’s efforts.