A revolution in the methods of growing truffles could spread the appreciation of this fungal delicacy. Researchers from the French National Institute for Research into Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Inrae) said they had become the first in the world to master the art of cultivating Tuber Magnatum Pico, as the most prestigious and expensive variety of truffle is known - a.k.a. white truffles.
The new methods will mean that farmers will be able to cultivate the white truffle outside of the Italian forests that are their traditional home.
The French white truffle research began in 1999. French farmers who have now grown them wanted to remain anonymous for fear of being targeted by thieves.
Phillippe Mauguin, Inrae’s chairman said :”We have long talked about black diamonds. Now we can talk about white diamonds and say that we are able to produce them.”