THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT TRUFFLES
Photo: White truffle pizza at Ca’Momi by Fabio Rosas
BY CHRISTINA MUELLER
When I saw it, I could not believe it. There I was in early September, standing in a 3 1/2-year-old orchard in Carneros, the sun beating its ferocious wave energy into my skull, and all I saw was parched, dry ground and trees no taller than your average middle schooler. And yet, underground, the slow but steady growth of Tuber melanosporum and Tuber aestivum was underway.
Tuber melanosporum, known colloquially as Périgord or black truffle, and Tuber aestivum, or Burgundy truffle, are two of the most sought-after mycorrhiza in the world. Revered by chefs and beloved by food enthusiasts for their incomparable aroma and flavor, truffles routinely sell for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per pound. Their prestige among agricultural products is unquestioned and demand perpetually outstrips supply.
France, the traditional home of Périgord and Burgundy truffles, and Italy, the home of white or Alba truffles (Tuber magnatum), cannot produce enough supply to meet the burgeoning demand for these highly prized flavor nuggets. Each year, the French plant more of the trees that foster the truffle and these … Read More