Truffles are about hypogeal fungi that grow underground and live in symbiosis With the roots of certain trees.

This mushroom is a delicacy and a delight for health.

Truffles do not get the sun and receive carbohydrates and vitamins from the roots of the plant that the tree achieves with photosynthesis. The plant receives nutrients from the soil and water from the fungus in addition to promoting the expansion of its roots.

The brushless areas around the tree are produced because the fungus extracts its nutrients causing them to die and in turn these herbs decompose with moisture and nourish the fungus and the tree. It is therefore important a degree of humidity.

Trufas negras en raíces
                                                    Typical burned in the truffle area

The reproduction of the fungus is by spores that transport animals such as wild boars, fox, rabbits, mice, in their feces. In turn, animals enjoy the pleasure of their taste. They find them for their pleasant smell. Truffles being buried cannot spread their spores.

Ciclo reproductor de las trufas en España mediante fauna
Reproductive cycle of the truffle through fauna

When they are extracted there are also spores, so we will have truffles in the same place.

These spores ripen during the winter forming the new truffles.

Spain Produces between 30% and 40% of all world production.

Varieties of truffles in Spain

  • Winter black : It is produced from November to March.
  • Fall truffles : from November to March.
  • Summer : from May to September.
  • Asian : from November to March.
  • Blanca del Piedmont : from October to December and the most quoted in the market. One of the most expensive condiments in the kitchen.

Cultivation of truffles

Terreno idóneo para trufa
Schemes of land types according to U.S.D.A.

The cultivation of truffles requires some characteristic conditions that we are going to develop.

  • First the ground of an altitude around 100 meters and composition as indicated by the following scheme:
  • Second the tree that hosts them: chestnut trees, oaks, holm oaks, especially the variety ( Quercus ilex) , pines and hazelnuts (these are not recommended for white truffles).

It is convenient that they produce shade and at the same time separated sufficiently so that they are aerated and a brush can be produced that secretes nutrients to the soil.

The type of tree depends on the type of terrain. They can be wild trees or plantations prepared for this crop.

  • Third the weather: With some degree of rainfall, about 600 liters per year. If the weather is drier we should let the tree have more crown and make more shade. Very important summer rains or the controlled irrigation.

In no case do waterlogging agree. The most beneficial is a moisture microclimate that favors the proliferation of truffles. The area is covered with weeds or even black plastics.

Not abundant frost. The land must be protected if it is cold. The summers of medium temperature.

Mapa de trufas en España

Cultivated truffles

In areas like Teruel tree plantations are being made to grow truffles.

Phases of production:

  • Choose the terrain, limestone and with a suitable Ph. Plantations work best in areas that already know the existence of trees with truffles.
  • Plant the trees, approximately 300 / ha, which must already be mycorrhized, that is, it already has spores at its roots and adapted to the environment.
  • Controlled irrigation, especially in the area of ​​burns that occur around the tree by the action of the truffle.
  • Apply fertilizers when it decays to production.
  • Make appropriate pruning.
  • Fencing the land to prevent the entry of wild boar fauna.

Truffle Collection

Being a product buried in the roots of a tree, in Spain normally holm oaks, its collection is complicated.

They usually have marked areas and that are visualized under the tree due to the lack of weeds, but the exact area is usually marked with a special dog, which by smell detects it and begins to dig over it.

With a knife the truffles are extracted and the hole is filled again with dirt and weeds to start the cycle again. Not all must be removed.

Devices that detect odor are being developed.

Once extracted from the earth, they are submerged in water and with the help of a brush, the earth remains are removed.

They are stored in an airtight container in a cool place and then enjoy.