Why Real Truffles Are So Expensive | So Expensive

Why Real Truffles Are So Expensive | So Expensive


Luxury cousins of the mushroom, truffles are an indulgent
food enjoyed across the world. But these fragrant fungi will cost you. In 2014, the world’s largest
white truffle was flown to New York accompanied
by a security guard and sold at auction for $61,000. Discovered in Italy, this gigantic fungus weighed almost 2 kilos. So, what is it that
makes them so expensive? There are a lot of types of truffle. There are at least 40 species,
many of which aren’t edible, and new species have been
discovered as recently as 2018. You’ve probably seen
luxury truffle products in supermarkets or fancy restaurants, but the unique truffle
flavor you recognize might not be real truffle at all. Cheap truffle oil often hasn’t been anywhere near a real truffle. Many cheaper truffle products
use 2,4-dithiapentane, a synthesized compound containing one of the main aromatic
components of foot odor, guaranteed to give it that “earthy” taste. Real truffles are seasonal and pricey, with a short shelf life. They were originally sniffed
out using truffle pigs, but while pigs are very
good at finding truffles, they’re also very good
at eating them, too. And these days, dogs are much more common truffle-hunting companions. These fungi can be found across the world, but they all require a very
specific climate to grow. While different varieties may have somewhat different requirements,
one thing is certain. You can’t have truffles without trees. James Feaver: Truffles are
always found with trees, and they have to be the
right type of trees. Under the ground, the truffle
is just the fruiting body, so an equivalent to an apple. And we’ve also got a
lot of then what we call the mycelium, microscopic-level threads, and up to 100 meters
in a teaspoon of soil. And this mycelium is actually
attached to the roots of a tree like the fingers
of glove onto a hand. And it sort of extends
the reach of the tree out. And it actually takes
up water and nutrients and passes them to the tree,
and the tree gives it sugars in return, so to help the
truffles, the fruit, develop. Narrator: Even when you have
exactly the right conditions, truffles aren’t guaranteed, and hunting them is a
labor-intensive process. Once you know where to
look, you have to sniff out and dig up each truffle by hand, and they can be tricky to find. Feaver: Good boy, thank
you, good boy, come! So he just told us there
it’s still in the ground. So do I want to take it
out of the ground or not? It all depends on if it’s ripe. If it’s unripe, there’s
no point in having it. So the nose comes into play. And we actually sniff the ground for it. Narrator: It may take a while, but finding a good one can
make it worth the work. Feaver: Yeah, that’s a nice one. Yeah, that’s probably about 70, 80 grams. Narrator: Truffles also
have a short season, often appearing for only
a few months of the year. And even when you do
get your hands on them, they don’t last for long. Feaver: An unripe
truffle, unlike a tomato, which you could cut from the vine and ripen on your windowsill, once the truffle is out of the
ground, the clock is ticking. So it’s just sort of slowly
gonna degrade over time. So we want to get it out to
the customers nice and fast. Narrator: After just five
days out of the ground, that pungent truffle
smell will have halved. You can farm many truffle varieties, besides the rare Italian whites. Many people have been successful in setting up truffle
orchards, but it’s not easy. Trees need to be planted in
the right soil conditions, inoculated with truffle fungus, and often irrigated constantly. It can take as long as six years before you get a good truffle harvest, and there’s no guarantee that
the fungi will grow at all. So after all that effort, what
do they actually taste like? Ju Shardlow: Ooh. Claudia Romeo: Hm. Leon Siciliano: The
smell just made me think it was gonna be really strong. The flavor is actually quite subtle. There’s a nuttiness there. There’s, like, an earthy flavor there. Ju: Actually quite light and fragrant. It tastes a lot nicer than it smells. It smells like damp socks. Claudia: That’s good. I mean, this is the first
time I’ve actually eaten a truffle by itself. You know, it’s a bit like mushroom, but it’s more of a meaty, meaty bite. Narrator: These days,
farming has taken over as our primary source of truffles, and today, 70% of the world’s
truffles are cultivated. Through the loss of
woodland and climate change, the number of wild truffles
has decreased significantly. Since the 19th century,
production in France has fallen from over 1,000 tonnes a
season to just 30 tonnes. And climate change could mean
that truffles will disappear altogether in the future. Feaver: The weather
conditions are so important, not just immediately,
over the whole season. We’re getting much lower numbers and much lower average size. A truffle is about 70% water, so it needs rainfall to help it grow. Some UK truffle scientists are thinking that your traditional areas, the climate is gonna move further north, and they’re not gonna
have a truffle industry within I think perhaps 50 years. There’s threats, there’s opportunities, but rain, we do need rain. When we get a dry summer, the holidaymakers, they’re delighted, but I keep crossing my fingers for a bit of rain every now and again.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. Just like Caviar. Truffles are overrated and overpriced "delicacies", simply because of their scarcity, not because they're good… And yes, I've tried them both. Similar reaction to the people that tried them here, sort of "meh".. And the Caviar was nasty.

  2. if you spend more than like 10 bucks on something that some dude just digged out of the earth and looked like a ball of carrot infested shit–you're both an idiot and rich

  3. Why? Because society is filled with greedy and ignorant people, so the value of anything will always be way out of proportion.

  4. If you told people with too much money that the shit cakes which form on a baboon's bum-fluff were a luxury food item, then they'd pay a fortune to eat them. They'd be called Bluffles.
    I think they already do this in China 🤔
    Ahh! Bruffles!

  5. So in other words … they are expensive because stupid people are willing to disregard everything if you tell them it's expensive and they will pay a fortune for a pile of shit if you if you wrap it in gold foil and present it well.

  6. So the supply of the truffle along with the high demand increases the price?

    I shall call this phenomena, "Needy greedy!"

  7. They are expensive because of females. Females need excessive reassurance on objects with the illusion of #1 brainwashed into it. The more rare, the higher the chance to torture her pernicious frenemies about having it.

  8. So basically this video's "real" intention was to tell us about "climate change". Honestly? Truffles have been affected by "climate change"??? Good grief.

  9. This is for rich people to distinguish them self for commoners. Let’s tax them well and spread the wealth.

  10. When that guy stuck his nose in the dirt to sniff for the truffle, the dog just turned and looked at him like "same, Jim, same"

  11. Could it be that they are over harvesting the wild truffles.
    Nope. Climate change. The universal politically correct trump card. Ironic that Trump trump's their trump.

  12. woods everywhere, climate change sure. Farming truffles is cheaper, faster and ensured. Basic economics is the cause not the climate fella.

  13. Funny thing is we have it like it’s potato’s in Iraq when westerns govs invaded us in 2003 they stole many kilos truffles.

  14. “Climate change”… LOL… SLIPPING THAT STUPID IGNORANT U.N. AGENDA B.S. IN THERE….LOL…STUPIDNESS INDEED.

  15. Interviewer: So you're the world's best security guard?
    Guard: Yes, ma''am
    Interviewer: What was your most dangerous job?
    Guard: I had to guard a truffle.
    Interviewer: You had a lot of trouble?
    Guard: No, truffle.
    Interviewer: No trouble at all?
    Guard: I had to guard a truffle
    Interviewer: I know trouble comes with yr job. But what was yr most dangerous job?
    Guard: Truffle, T R U F F L E.
    Interviewer: No, I disagree. There's nothing trifling about yr job at all.

  16. Six years to have your first truffles is very short. I live in France next to orchards, they told me it was rather 15-20 years (black autumn truffle).

  17. you don't need a tree to find it, we have it in Saudi Arabia in the desert, you can find it also in china and morocco, but the worst is in Europe

  18. I think the dogs that “find” truffles are just going out, secretly dropping a duke in their paw, and bringing it back like “dudes check this out, it’s a delicacy! Uh, I just found it some place…”

  19. I love truffle fries. But after watching this video, i felt cheated. The fries i eat all this while does not contain real truffle.

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