Image: Unsplash/Connie Perez
With a pandemic going around you’d think we have enough crises on our hands, but there is a new crisis looming on the horizon — a shortage of white truffle. With the slowing of the global supply chain, there is now a shortage of the prized delicacy in the US. Bloomberg calls it “The Great White Truffle Crisis of 2021”. Consequently, prices for the luxury ingredient have soared, making it more expensive. Of course, truffles have always been difficult to come by. Truffle only grows in the wild in certain parts of Italy and the Balkans and are notoriously pricey.
Image: Regalis Foods
Bloomberg reports that at food distributor Chefs Warehouse, white truffles currently cost around US$4,000 per pound. Truffle supplier Urbani Truffles is seeing prices around US$4,500 per pound and at luxury foods retailer Regalis Foods, prices have jumped to US$4,950 a pound for higher-end white truffles deemed “extra class”.
Bloomberg also reported that prices have jumped due to a combination of poor weather conditions and shrinking truffle habitats. Deforestation is a constant threat to these habitats and climate change has led to uncharacteristically hot summers that can reduce growth and yield. However, there could be a solution to this. A team of French scientists at WeTruf have discovered a way to cultivate truffles outside of France and Italy, and have even spoken to one farmer in California already. In another part of the world, Australia has celebrated its own truffle festival, dubbed the “Truffle Kerfuffle”. The annual event was held in the heart of Australia’s truffle-growing region of Manjimup, which happens to be the most prolific growing ground in the Southern Hemisphere.