UK News Périgord black truffle cultivated in the UK for the first time

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  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    The Mediterranean black truffle, one of the world’s most expensive ingredients, has been successfully cultivated in the UK, as climate change threatens its native habitat.

    Researchers from the University of Cambridge and Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd (MSL) have confirmed that a black truffle has been successfully cultivated in the UK for the first time: the farthest north that the species has ever been found. It was grown as part of a programme in Monmouthshire, South Wales, run by MSL in collaboration with local farmers. The results of the programme, reported in the journal Climate Research, suggest that truffle cultivation may be possible in many parts of the UK.

    After nine years of waiting, the truffle was harvested in March 2017 by a trained dog named Bella. The aromatic fungus was growing within the root system of a Mediterranean oak tree that had been treated to encourage truffle production. Further microscopic and genetic analysis confirmed that Bella’s find was indeed a Périgord black truffle (Tuber melanosporum).

    The black truffle is one of the most expensive delicacies in the world, worth as much as £1,700 per kilogram. Black truffles are prized for their intense flavour and aroma, but they are difficult and time-consuming to grow and harvest, and are normally confined to regions with a Mediterranean climate. In addition, their Mediterranean habitat has been affected by drought due to long-term climate change, and yields are falling while the global demand continues to rise. The truffle industry is projected to be worth £4.5 billion annually in the next 10-20 years.

    Black truffles grow below ground in a symbiotic relationship with the root system of trees in soils with high limestone content. They are found mostly in northern Spain, southern France and northern Italy, where they are sniffed out by trained dogs or pigs. While they can form naturally, many truffles are cultivated by inoculating oak or hazelnut seedlings with spores and planting them in chalky soils. Even through cultivation, there is no guarantee that truffles will grow.

    Read more here. (University of Cambridge)
     

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