London’s new food market, Food Inc. at Whiteleys W2, has taken delivery of a precious batch of Italian Truffle Trees from Emilia-Romagna. The young hazelnut plants have been inoculated with truffle spores and are guaranteed by the University of Perugia as being capable of producing truffles.
In these times of falling house prices, buying one of these trees could be a great way to buck the trend, a truffle orchard (or ‘tartufaio’) in the back garden is certain to get you noticed.
Food Inc. General Manager Adam Van Den Bussche said ‘I’m pleased to be introduce these plants to Food Inc. as I brought one back from Italy a couple of years ago and have patiently watched it grow. I’m looking forward to our first harvest and some eggs with home-made white truffle butter’
Although it is widely assumed that truffles are sniffed out by pigs in the wilds of Italy and France, in reality most truffles are farmed. What’s more, there could be as many native truffles in the UK but in comparison to Italy, where there are 100,000 registered truffle hunters, very few serious hunting expeditions are ever mounted on these shores.
The Truffle Trees start life at about thirty centimeters and can grow to seven metres. Owners can hope for about fifty grams of truffles per year once the tree has matured and more year on year after that. Truffles should be lifted by carefully digging around the outer roots, assuming no truffle dog is present. And remember that just because no truffle was harvested, doesn’t mean there weren’t any, they just weren’t found. And no matter what – you’ll always have hazelnuts.
Black Summer Truffle Tree: £29.00 each
White Truffle Tree: £35.00 each
Truffle Cook Book: £18.00 each