Can we cultivate a so rare and precious fruit like white truffle?
According to French authorities yes, it is possible. In late February, Inrae – Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement – published in the journal Mycorrhiza the very encouraging results of an experimentation that started in 2008 in cooperation with nursery Robin.
Robin gardeners and Inrae put in place my corrhized seedlings of Roverella in three different regions of France with three different climates and not suited to white truffle growth: Rodano-Alpi, Borgogna-Franca Contea, Nuova Aquitania. After four and a half years first results came: three white truffles were found in 2019 and four white truffles in 2020 in the Aquitania truffle-ground.
The results of this experimentation are surely remarkable but the questions arise: is white truffle risking the same fate of black truffle? What does white truffle cultivation means?
“White truffle cultivation – explains Simone Calugi from Selektia Tartufi – does not mean intensive farming but a plantation of my corrhized seedlings in areas where truffles do not grow wild. After four or five years plants bear fruit but truffle hunting still remain a strong collaboration between man and dog. On the organoleptic level, this kind of truffles are exactly the same of wild truffles”.
In short, it will never look like a vegetable or tomatoes plantation but it will look like a real forest with the goal of recreating the micro environment favourable to truffle growth. This is a great news and a great step for the innovation in this area but presenting both positive and negative aspects.
“Thanks to cultivation of white truffle – Simone Calugi from Selektia Tartufi keeps talking – we are going to see a strong growth in production of white truffle in a very short time and it will be required to meet the increasing demand of this precious fruit already well known all over the world. If the offer will exceed the market demand the value of white truffle could drop.. this is the main risk. As it already happened to black truffle and especially to summer truffle”.
Cultivation of white truffle is a revolutionary conquest and Selektia Tartufi Team can’t wait to know what the future will bring!