Growers purchase suitable trees inoculated with Truffle spores before transplant. Truffle trees and Truffle spores are selected for 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.
Truffles form to 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. Lesser quality Other Truffle trees include Beech, Fir, Poplar, Birch and Hazelnut. Truffles should be grown on ground with a good southern exposure and that gets enough sun in the fall. Truffle trees require a 7.5 to 7.9 soil pH to grow great Truffles. If soil pH is too low in your area then lime and/or wood ash can be added.
Once Truffles are washed thoroughly, they are typically sliced into thin layers like a Daikon radish. Truffle slices can be inserted between skin and meat of chicken, beef, fish and lamb or added to soups. Whole Truffle can be grated and added to sauces.
Truffles are almost always attached to the roots of a deciduous tree; typically oaks and beeches. Truffles are a type of wild mushroom prized for its intense aroma and unusual flavor. 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 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 as much as $250 to $450 per pound.
Types Of Truffles
There are many types of “tuber truffles” grown worldwide. A few Truffles are valued more than others because of texture and color while others are prized for their aroma and flavor.
Black Truffles (also known as diamond truffles) are a European truffle grown in Spain, France and northern Italy. Black Truffles grow best with English Oak Truffle trees.
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 Truffle trees.
Due to prolonged drought, only 100 tons were produced worldwide last year, and the harvest is expected to decline even further if growing conditions remain unfavorable. It would seem that establishing small-localized Truffle plantations in microclimate areas of the world would be a smart thing to do
Some connoisseurs claim that Australian Truffles are every bit as good as European varieties. 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 Truffle trees.
Asian Truffles are comparable to European Black Truffles. They are grown for the Chinese market almost exclusively.
A variety of Truffle grows on the west coast in its natural habitat with Douglas fir Truffle trees, which is very unusual considering the genre preference for hardwoods.
There are only 2 ways to harvest Truffles; the use of trained animals or Truffle files. Animals can be trained to find Truffles growing underground. Dogs are becoming the preferred method because pigs have a tendency to eat the Truffle before the digger can harvest it.
Once a Truffle is located, soil is gently removed until from the Truffle tree roots until the entire Truffle is exposed. Because aroma and flavor dissipate rapidly after harvest, expert diggers will leave may of the root attaching tendrils intact. Truffles are typically not washed or cleaned until chefs prep them. Truffles are typically chilled within minutes of harvest and shipped in temperature-controlled containers directly to wholesalers.