Grow Truffles Worth $450 A Pound With These Types Of Truffle Trees

Professional growers purchase suitable trees inoculated with truffle spores before transplant. Truffle trees and truffle spores are selected by soil type and climate. North American oak tree seedlings can be inoculated with French and Italian truffle varieties so European varieties can be grown and sold domestically, for example. For best results and accelerated harvests, a start-up plantation of truffle trees should be at least 10 years old and 20 feet tall.

Truffle Trees

Truffles form on tree roots of specific tree types. The best known and most expensive truffles grow symbiotically with Oak truffle trees, specifically English Oak, White Oak and French Oak trees. Other types of trees, specifically Beech, Fir, Poplar, Birch and Hazelnut, can grow truffles, but they are of less quality. No matter what tree type is chosen, the truffle ground should have good southern exposure that will get enough sun in the fall. A pH of 7.5 to 7.9 will grow great Truffles. If soil pH is too low, adding lime and/or wood ash will raise the pH to an acceptable level. English Oak, White Oak and French Oak truffle trees to grow the best truffles worth as much as $450 a pound.

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Growing Truffles

Non cultivated truffles are prized for their intense aroma and unusual flavor, however cultivated truffles are a close second. There are hundreds of truffle varieties but only a few are considered delicacies. Truffles are distinguished by taste, appearance and smell. Truffles are best served fresh to preserve texture and aroma. Culinary Tubers are the rarest of truffles because they are so hard to find. They grow just under the soil surface attached to tree roots. The only way to harvest them is to use trained animals like pigs (in Europe) and dogs (in Australia) to locate them. This method has been used for centuries. Truffles are among the most expensive of the world's natural foods, often commanding a price as high as $450 per pound.

Truffle Varieties

There are many varieties of “tuber truffles” grown worldwide. Some of these are valued more than others because of texture and color; others are valued more for their aroma and flavor.

Cooking With Harvested Truffles

Once Truffles are washed thoroughly, they are sliced into thin layers much like a Daikon radish. Truffle slices are typically inserted between skin and meat of chicken, beef, fish and lamb or added to soups. Whole truffle can be grated and added to sauces.

Black Truffles

Black truffles (also known as diamond truffles)are grown in Europe, primarily Spain, France and northern Italy. Black truffles grow best with English Oak.

Black truffles, also known as Périgord truffles, are a highly prized and sought-after gourmet food that are native to France and Italy. Here are some key characteristics of black truffles and how to grow them:

  • Description: Black truffles are a type of fungus that grow underground in association with the roots of certain trees, such as oaks, hazelnuts, and poplars. They have a dark, rough exterior and a fragrant, earthy aroma.
  • Growing black truffles: Black truffles are difficult to cultivate and require specific soil and climatic conditions to grow. They typically require a warm, humid climate and well-draining soil with a high pH. Truffle orchards can be established by planting truffle-inoculated trees and maintaining a proper irrigation and nutrient regimen.
  • Preferred soil: Black truffles prefer well-draining soils that are rich in calcium and have a high pH (around 7.5 to 8.5). The soil should be aerated and free from compaction to allow the truffle to grow.
  • Artificial propagation: Black truffles can be artificially propagated by inoculating the roots of young trees with truffle spores. This can be done in a laboratory or by using specially designed machines to inject spores into the root zone.

Growing black truffles requires a significant investment of time and resources, and success depends on a variety of factors, including soil conditions, climate, and tree health. However, for those willing to put in the effort, the rewards can be significant, both in terms of culinary enjoyment and financial gain.

growing black truffles

White Truffles

White Truffles (also known as winter or Piedmont truffles) is also a European variety grown famously in France. Its claim to fame is the way it infuses with garlic. White truffles grow best with French Oak.

White truffles are a highly prized and considered rare and can be worth more than Black truffles. Here are some key characteristics of white truffles and how to grow them:

  • Description: White truffles are a type of fungus that grow underground in association with the roots of certain trees, such as oak, hazel, and poplar. They have a pale, yellowish-white exterior and a distinct, pungent aroma.
  • Growing white truffles: White truffles are very difficult to cultivate and require specific soil and climatic conditions to grow. They require a cool, humid climate with well-draining, calcareous soil.
  • Preferred watering schedule: White truffles prefer moderate levels of moisture, with soil that is not too dry or too wet. Watering schedules should be adjusted according to the soil moisture content and weather conditions.
  • Preferred climate and temperature: White truffles prefer a cool, humid climate with mild winters and warm summers. They thrive in temperatures between 55°F and 68°F (13°C to 20°C).
  • How far beneath the soil do they grow: White truffles can grow up to several inches beneath the soil surface, depending on the depth and texture of the soil. They are typically found within the first 6 inches (15 cm) of soil, but can occasionally be found at greater depths.
  • Fertilizer applications: White truffles do not require fertilizers, as they obtain their nutrients from the soil and the roots of their host trees. However, it is important to maintain soil pH levels within the optimal range (around 7.5 to 8.5), as this helps to promote the growth of beneficial fungi and microorganisms in the soil.
growing white truffles

Due to prolonged drought that has lasted a decade, only 100 tons were produced worldwide last year, and the harvest is expected to decline even further if growing conditions remain unfavorable due to climate change. Establishing small, localized truffle plantations in the microclimate areas of the world would be move in advance of a problem that may not reverse itself in the near future, if ever.

Australian Truffles

Some connoisseurs claim that Australian truffles are every bit as good as the European variety. Although grown primarily for the domestic market, a growing export market is shipping to the U.S. and parts of Asia. Australian truffles grow best with Australian beech trees.

Asian Truffles

Asian truffles are comparable to European Black Truffles. They are grown for the Chinese market almost exclusively.

American Truffles

A variety of truffle grows on the west coast in its natural habitat with Douglas fir trees, which is very unusual considering the genre preference for hardwoods.

Harvesting Truffles

There are only 2 ways to harvest truffles; dig them by hand or use trained animals. Animals can be trained to find truffles growing underground. Dogs are becoming the preferred method because pigs have a tendency to eat truffle before the digger can harvest it.

digging for truffles
dog digging for truffles pig digging for truffles

Once a truffle is located, soil is gently removed until from the tree root until the entire truffle is exposed. Because aroma and flavor dissipate rapidly after harvest, expert diggers will leave may of the truffle tendrils intact, attached to the root. Truffles are typically not washed or cleaned until chefs prep them for inclusion in a meal. Truffles are typically chilled within minutes of harvest and shipped in temperature-controlled containers direct to wholesalers. It’s not uncommon for just harvested truffle to arrive at a five-star restaurant and the chefs table the same day.

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