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rotuts

Truffle crop on decline? NYTimes today

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Somewhere a guy with thick glasses and a lab coat is figuring out how to farm truffles.

The economics of truffles must be interesting. They are rare so they are pricey, but if they became cheap how much could the market be? Its a special taste, interesting once in a while but not every day. McD's wouldn't put it in a hamburger. And I can't see truffled Corn Flakes being a big seller.

If truffles were cheap they might even lose their cachet. I suspect that many people (like me) are not fans of truffles and go along with a truffled dish as a change of pace.

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NYTimes: 1930's: 1,000 tons FR.

now: 50 tons FR

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This is an interesting (and disturbing) by-product of global warming and consequent shifts in terroir. I know a number of our winemakers are buying wineries in the cooler climate regions such as Tasmania to hedge their bets on future changes in growing conditions.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog

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Another interesting aspect of this is that black truffles, unlike white, can be successfully cultivated, and that demand was outstripping supply before the impact of global warming was raised as an issue. A friend from Alba recently attended a seminar on the subject, and he and I are looking into the possibility of cultivating black truffles here in the heart of white truffle country. There is already a significant crop of summer black truffles here, but, by and large, they are all smell and no taste (used fresh and shaved like white truffles, instead of cooked like Perigord black), and really, little more than a garnish evocative of the real thing.


Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

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We did indeed have a dry summer here in SW France. We then had a lot of rain, but the ground is still dryer than normal. These kind of fluctuations are normal in our area.

The experts at the Lalbenque market, however say that the crop is pretty normal so far. They expect that quantities will improve in the new year; January & March are typically the best months.

We have friends who have a truffle 'ranch' (or maybe we should call it an orchard??). They planted inoculated trees 8 years ago and have been getting a good crop for the past three years. Their truffle hound is a ten year old Labrador named Marcel.

I'm not going to worry about a shortage yet. Wonder what the Mayans had to say about this?

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Attn DH: Truffle Hound Truffle Retriever ! having had two myself, but no truffles!

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There are companies that sell tree seedlings inoculated with truffle spores. The problem lies in the fact that it's realistically thirty years (in spite of what is claimed) until you can get your first sizeable harvest -- so naturally few people, other than maybe very rich homeowners (Marth Stewart is linked from the Garland website, for example) and tinkerers, are willing to put down the money to plant a "crop" -- with no guarantee of a yield or revenue.

Want to plant your own trees? Look here : http://www.plantationsystems.com/ or here: http://www.micofora....dioma=EN&opc=48

Another company in North Carolina: http://www.garlandtr....com/index.html


Edited by bigkoiguy (log)

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