Posts Tagged ‘Invasive species’

Invasive Truffle

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

A paper in the journal New Phytologist has truffle aficionados in a panic. Written by Claude Murat from the Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale dell’Università di Torino and his colleagues, it documents the recent discovery of the aggressive Chinese black truffle, Tuber indicum, at an Italian truffle plantation. “We dread that T. indicum will spread all over Europe and crowd out T. melanosporum and perhaps other truffle species,” Murat told Science News. Lovers of the fungal lumps, underground reproductive structures that fetch astronomical prices in gourmet markets, turn up their noses at the Chinese species, considered much less flavorful and aromatic than European natives like the Périgord black truffle, T. melanosporum, and the even more precious Piedmont white truffle, T. magnatum. The record price of a single white truffle, $330,000, was set in December 2007, for a 3.3-pound specimen unearthed near Pisa by Luciano Savini and his dog Rocco.