Which is the most valuable truffle in the world?
Italy is the world’s leading country for the production and consumption of truffles. 9 species of edible truffles are collected on our peninsula, each with its own particular characteristics. At the top of the list is undoubtedly the prized white truffle; also known as Alba white truffle or Acqualagna truffle because it is particularly common in these areas. A step lower are the black truffles or black truffles from Norcia, a truffle that is very appreciated in the kitchen and has a large following thanks to its unmistakable taste.
Why the white Alba truffles are the most valuable truffles
As you may have noticed, some of the truffles in the ranking (the nutmeg truffle and the hooked truffle, to be precise) are not distinct species; but variants of other species that have enough organoleptic characteristics to distinguish them in order of preference. However, we all agree on one point: the white truffle is definitely the most valuable truffle.
But what makes the white truffles from Alba so popular and coveted?
- The prized white truffles are exquisite . Of course, such an intense flavor isn’t for everyone; but most truffle experts agree: the taste and aroma of fine white truffles are harmoniously balanced; and can turn even the simplest of recipes into true culinary works of art.
- The white truffles are incredibly rare . We all knew that, but to what extent? The Tuber Magnatum Pico only grows under very specific geographical and climatic conditions; namely on marly and calcareous sedimentary soils at a maximum altitude of 700 m above sea level, with good ventilation but also with humidity in the drier seasons.
- Finding them is no cakewalk . Like all underground mushrooms, the white truffle grows spontaneously underground in symbiosis with certain plants, such as various species of oak and poplar. The signposts are only visible to experienced truffle hunters, and it is not uncommon for one to return home after a search with a rather meager harvest.
- The prized white truffles cannot be cultivated . Truffle cultivation is well established, but some truffle species are more difficult to cultivate; the Tuber Magnatum Pico is one of the most unsuccessful truffles in cultivation and the harvest possibilities are almost limited to spontaneous growth. It goes without saying that the quantity of truffles collected, which largely depends on the weather conditions throughout the year, is not always plentiful.