Why are Perigord Truffles so expensive?
I get asked this question a lot. Why are they so expensive? In particular Perigord Truffles.
Is it supply and demand?
I walk through the Truffiere with my trusty hound Mini, the runt of the litter. The morning is fresh, the ground is crisp and dry. This is winter. Twigs crack underfoot. Mini is sniffing around excitedly with the smell of pheromones in her nose.
This plot of land took me two years to find. It is my first. And I walk proudly on it. It has been difficult to find the right land to grow these “black diamonds”.
You get all the basics right, thinking you have the right land. The altitude, water supply, climate. The soil is tested, its good, happy days. Then the experts look at the area. What surrounds my plot. “You cannot grow here” they say. “Your plot will get contaminated from the surrounding ecology” certain plantation will contaminate our trees!
I learn there is much more to this. So, the search continues. Other plots are found, water has too much sodium, the next, land high in potassium. The next, water supply to expensive. Onward we go.
Mini scratches frantically at the ground tail wagging looking at me for a reward. I get on my knees and carefully dig out two beautiful Black Perigord truffles from the ground. The terrain in Spain is hardy and there has been a slight overnight frost. One truffle is perfect, the size of a golf ball, I will get a premium price for this. The other is shaped a little odd as it formed against a rock, slightly smaller, this will bring less at the market.
We need to get them to market and sold, as once out of the ground the clock has started ticking. Time is of the essence. They need to be on the restaurant’s plates quick or the quality of that unique flavour and the hypnotic smell of pheromones is lost.
This was our first crop. A few kilos that year. It took four years. Six since the day I made the decision to get involved in this crazy business. It won’t make us rich, YET! however a very exciting year. We celebrate by drinking locally produced organic wine from the vineyard next door, Mini gets her treats. We know every year will be better than the last as the Truffiere matures.
So why are Black Perigord Winter Truffles so expensive?
Well … they just are.
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