From (left to right): Dr. Paul Thomas, truffle tree nursery

In September of this year, American Truffle Company’s Chief Scientist Dr. Paul Thomas published a paper on his ground-breaking research.  Working with local farmers in the UK where he resides, he successfully cultivated black winter truffles as part of a program in Monmouthshire, South Wales. This is the farthest north that the species has ever been found. The results of the program were reported in the journal Climate Research, and includes analysis by Paul in collaboration with University of Cambridge researchers. It demonstrates that with rigorous science, truffles can be reliably cultivated in areas where black truffles had never been harvest.  It now has been done in the UK, and it can also been done in the U.S.

 Bella the truffle dog and Harvester with trained dogs

From (left to right): Bella the truffle dog, Harvester with trained dogs

After years of waiting, the truffle was harvested in March 2017 by a trained dog named Bella, found on the root system of an oak tree that had been inoculated with the truffle fungus. Further DNA analysis confirmed that Bella’s find was indeed a Périgord black truffle (Tuber melanosporum), which are normally confined to regions with a Mediterranean climate. However, their Mediterranean habitat has been affected by drought due to long-term climate change, and yields have been falling while the global demand continues to rise. According to Dr. Thomas, the global truffle industry is projected to be worth $6.09 billion (£4.5 billion) annually in the next 10-20 years…

“This cultivation has shown that the climatic tolerance of truffles is much broader than previously thought, but it’s likely that it’s only possible because of climate change,” said Thomas. “While truffles are a very valuable crop, together with their host trees, they are also a beneficial component for conservation and biodiversity.”

To learn more about the truffle cultivation possibilities in North America, contact Robert Chang, Chief Truffle Officer for American Truffle Company at [email protected]

Read Dr. Thomas’ Report