Every fall, chefs from around the globe go to great lengths to obtain fresh white truffle from Alba and diners spend heaps of money to try them. Alba white truffles are one of the most expensive ingredients.

Why are Alba white truffles so expensive?

Once they are picked, the Alba white truffles are sold to buyers who ship them around the World.

In fact, the truffles are produced thanks to the symbiosis between funghus and roots of some plants, but why are truffles so expensive? In Italy there are 28 Types of truffles.

The origin and growth of truffles depends on the type of soil and above all, the environmental conditions. There are different times for the truffle seasons, that is, depending on the seasons it is possible to find white or black truffles.

Alba Truffle price in October 2018
Alba Truffle price in October 2018

Where to find Alba white truffles

From September to December hunters with trained animals (dogs, pigs), wander the countryside in the Piedmont region (Asti, Alba, Barolo, Barbaresco, La Morra, Neive) in search of these wild mushrooms. Discover where to buy fresh Alba white truffle.

Truffles need moist soil and tree roots to grow, also moist near rivers or streams.  You can not find truffles in too dark woods with too little light penetration, to be able to grow, truffles must exchange resources with plants and these need sunlight for the process of photosynthesis. In turn they give nutrients to the truffles. This is one of the first reasons why  truffles are so expensive, due to the difficulty of finding land and roots suitable for their growth. For these reasons it happens that every season and every type  is different for the truffle hunting, the climate, the soil and all the factors totally influences the formation of the white and black truffles.

Black truffle hunting

When to look for truffles and how much they cost

If the temperature, the humidity and the sunlight are favorable for the growth of the truffle, then we could have a good production of truffles. As for the black truffle, hunting can start from mid-May until mid-March, while for the white truffle,  the season to find them is shorter, in fact, its findings are recorded mostly during the Autumn. This is one of the reasons why the white truffle is more prized than the black one and why they are  so expensive.

Why are Alba White truffle so expensive? 

Besides all the previous motivations, that is  totally dependant on the environment and the climate, truffle hunting also affects the price. Truffle hunting involves training animals like a dog or a pig. Training animals for hunting requires time, attitude and patience, we must teach the animal to recognize the smell and taste of truffles, so that during the hunt they will recognize the scent also hidden under many centimeters of ground. Immagine that during your Langhe truffle hunting tours, in Asti, Barolo, La Morra, you will get to  know all the techniques and try the experience of  searching for truffle. You will get to know a real Tartufao/Trifolao (truffle hunter) and his faithfull dog, who will accompany you to the most fertile areas.

All the reasons, why are truffles so expensive?

Chefs like to shave them over lightly buttered pastas, creamy risottos and cheese pizzas as well as proteins like steaks, burgers and roasted chickens. The blander the base, the more you will be able to zone in on the unusual scent and flavor.

Alba white truffles are not to be confused with Alba black truffle, which are harvested in the late autumn and winter, the black are picked from the ground in the summer and early fall.

Both of these species are found primarily in Italy.

One last reason that makes the truffle so expensive, is  its demand on the market. The increase in the demand for truffles and their difficulty in finding them makes the price rise, in the same way, for a more scarce type, makes them even more precious, becoming a rare pearl of the territory. The most famous white truffle is the white truffle of Alba, where every year the International White Truffle Fair takes place.

The land, climate and the plants allow each year to find delicious white truffles. The request for black and white truffles comes from all over the world, the highest paid truffle in the world, was a white truffle of 900 grams and was purchased by a chef from Hong Kong for 100,000 €.

So summing up why are truffles so expensive, a reminder of the main reasons:

  • Wet and illuminated soil
  • Presence of specific trees such as hazel, oak, poplar, linden
  • Training of animals for truffle hunting like dogs or pigs
  • Request for the world food market
  • Product fragility

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