After the worst summer on record, we are delighted to announce that the harvesting of our ‘home grown’ truffle has started at our orchard in Wiltshire!
Weeks of rain and low temperatures during their formative growing period has delayed their maturation and like much of this seasons fruit and vegetable crops, we sense that they may have suffered accordingly in flavour & aroma.
Unlike the ‘mechanical’ harvesting of most crops, these ‘black diamonds’ firstly have to be located (traditionally by a pig but more recently, a trained dog) and then eased gently out of the ground, washed, checked over for slug and insect damage, weighed and then placed in kitchen paper in the fridge prior to dispatch. A lengthy & delicate process.
Our clients are in the main, chefs, who understand ‘haute cuisine’ and how the addition of fresh truffle can ‘lift’ a bland dish of pasta, egg or potato to a completely different culinary level. Now, thanks to the proliferation of food programmes on TV & Radio and the exposure on them of epicurean specialities such as truffle – ‘foodies’ and enthusiastic amateurs now want to try this subterranean mushroom themselves! And this is possible because our British Autumn Truffle does not command the same high price of its European cousin – the Périgord black truffle – which averaged £900 per kilo in season 2011/2012. We anticipate that the opening price will be £200 per kilo.
Demand this season will undoubtedly exceed supply from our small orchard in the bowels of Wiltshire and whilst it yielded in excess of 280 kilos last year, we have no idea what production level will be reached this year until the dogs get to work!