What are Truffles ?
Basically …… FUNGUS 😉 MMM YUM… or you could say truffles are the “fruiting body” of a subterranean Ascomycete fungus , resembling a rough skinned potato but worth a whole lot more . Some of the truffle species are considered a culinary delicacy traditionally growing chiefly in broadleaved woodland & found with the aid of trained dogs or pigs (they can smell better than us ) . But was has this got to do with Australia you ask ?
The 1.172 kilogram French black perigord fungus f
alls just short of other large truffle finds made
overseas. Some of the largest truffles found include a white truffle weighing 1.31kg found in Croatia in 1999 and a 1.3kg truffle found in the south of France and sold in 2012.
Science unlocking secrets about the mysterious fungus
The Australian Truffle Growers Association shares collective information with its growers to help develop the science
of growing . Australia now being the worlds 4th largest producer . In the early days it was hard to come by solid information and optimum growing conditions as the competitors just didn’t want anyone else doing it , and who can blame them ?
So without getting too technical growers look for a soil ph level of 7.5 to 8 . Well drained soil and the right mix of organic materials in the ground to promote the growing of the fungus . Seedlings are actually now grown with the fungus inocculated into the plant and verified for different strains before being sold to farmers . Although we know alot more now than we did 20 years ago there is still the matter of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best .
Australian native truffle species are not poisonous, but they’re also not very tasty. Attempts to inoculate native species of trees with imported truffles have proven fruitless, so the Australian industry involves imported Tuber melanosporum fungi on oak trees. The truffles are good for the trees, taking phosphorus that would be insoluble to the tree and converting it to a form that trees can absorb. In Australia’s low phosphate soils this can be invaluable. In return, the tree provides the fungus with sugars and other carbohydrates.
So if you have a bit of time on your hands and can wait for about 8 years after you plant your seedling & with about a 10% success rate give it a go . If you are successful just e sure to save some for me !! You can get more information by clicking the link HERE . Its ok to add a little bit of France to Living Australian 😉