After inoculating the roots of 'host' pine trees on his Victorian farm with spores of the rare white truffle, farmer and president of the Australian Truffle Growers Association, Dr Peter Stahle, has fulfilled a seven year quest to grow Australia's first rare white truffle.
Up until now the white truffle, known as tuber borchii, has only ever been farmed in minute quantities in New Zealand, France and Italy. Unlike the more common black truffle, the rare white truffle is a different species of fungi.
Dr Stahle came across the truffle by accident last week when he pulled out a tree stake, not quite able to believe his eyes. A sliver of the truffle was sent to the University of Canberra where its authenticity was verified.
With another three weeks until it can be harvested, he added that he is anxiously waiting to see if there are any others growing in the area.
"Typically about 10% of trees in a truffiere produce truffles in any year, but I might be lucky now that we know we can grow them - this might be the year that all 390 pines have a white truffle or three under them."
It is expected that the truffle will sell at a 50% premium to that of the black truffles that are currently sold in Australia.
Source : Hospitality Magazine, 10 March 2015