38g truffle – as the first Welsh-farmed truffle, it’s priceless!
After years of patient oversight, the first Welsh-farmed black truffle has just been harvested in southern Wales by an extremely excited grower; “I still can’t believe it, I’m over the moon!” Wishing to remain anonymous so that the location will be kept secret, the Welsh orchard owner added: “It’s the most potent perfume I have ever smelt! Better than the ones I’ve imported. Wonderful.”
|The hazel tree that produced the first Welsh truffle using Dr. Thomas’ methodology. The flags mark the location of the truffle find.|
The orchard was started, and is run as part of American Truffle Company’s Chief Scientist Dr. Paul Thomas’ global cultivation partnership program. It follows on the heels of Dr. Thomas’ other recent harvest successes in England and Macedonia, where he started truffle orchards just before the first American truffle orchards were established.
“This is a very exciting day,” says Dr. Thomas. “We knew this was coming, and in fact the site may have been producing for a couple of years already, but it wasn’t until we trained a dog onsite that we were able to find the truffles.”
|Our newest truffle hunter – plenty of treats in store for this one!|
As truffles grow underground, specially trained dogs are needed to sniff out the ripe fungi (read about truffle dogs). The owner of the Welsh site started training the dog using fresh truffles, and the very same day, they found their first truffle.
“Although it’s early in the season, the truffle was very ripe and incredibly well perfumed,” says Thomas. “This first truffle is being preserved for prosperity with future harvested truffles going to high-end restaurants across Wales and the UK.”
The unearthed truffle was the summer, aka Burgundy, truffle (Tuber aestivum syn. uncinatum) and weighed in at 38g (1.34 ounces).
Summer truffles, along with the even more sought after Périgord winter truffles, are among the best in the world. They can fetch upwards of $700 per pound, while the Périgord has sold for as much as $1,200 per pound.
This find marks the start of a Welsh industry, and a list of excited Welsh chefs are already looking forward to using the home grown fungi. It also reinforces the possibility that American Truffle Company will soon be harvesting its first cultivated truffle in Napa at the Robert Sinskey Vineyards Truffle Orchard, which was planted in 2010. All indications by our trusty truffle hunting dogs and scientific monitoring are very positive.