Wait worth it for patient truffles harvesters

Goodness! Somebody’s growing truffles on Vancouver Island. From the Vancouver Sun: Wait worth it for patient truffles harvesters.

It took seven years for Betty and Grant Duckett to harvest their first truffle, but for them it was worth the wait.

The couple retired to Vancouver Island after years of raising livestock on the Prairies. They wanted to grow truffles, so they bought a 40-acre spread near Parksville, levelled the old pasture land, readied the soil, dug wells, and planted more than 5,000 trees inoculated with black Périgord truffle spores, and then waited.

"It was a decision that was hard to make because it was such an investment," Betty says. "We knew it would be years and years of trying. No one in Canada had ever done it, so no one could help us."

Last December, the couple’s wait finally came to an end when they harvested Canada’s first crop of the black Périgord. [continue]

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Trouble in truffledom

From the Beeb: Alien threat to truffle delicacy.

One of the world’s most prized culinary delicacies, the famous Perigord black truffle, could soon be off the menu.

Scientists fear it will be wiped out by an invading Chinese truffle they have discovered growing in European soils.

They tell the New Phytologist journal that the incomer is a particularly aggressive and fast-growing species.

The Perigord black truffle is one of the most highly regarded truffles, fetching around 600 to 800 euros per kg this season. [continue]

Truffles growing in BC

From the Vancouver Sun: Harvest of luxury.

Traditionally, the highest pedigreed truffles — black Perigords and white Albas — come from France and Italy and sell for more than $1,000 and $3,000 a pound, fluctuating with supply and demand. Order pasta with paper-thin shavings of white Alba truffles drifting on the surface and you’re looking at a $60 penne, minimum.

But now, B.C. is on the cusp of producing these tuberous divas as a food crop. It fits right into the enviro-friendly 100-Mile Diet philosophy as well as the growing culinary and agro-tourism industry. The spawn of France’s Perigords have been implanted in B.C. trees and the due date is about three years from now. It takes five to 10 years to mature and the first truffieres (truffle farmers) started operating two years ago. [continue]

Maybe the Perigords will spread to wild trees, and I’ll be able to train my dog to find truffles for me.