back to article Post-Brexit economy SAVED: Posh-nosh truffle thrives in Wales

The Périgord black truffle has survived UK weather and grown in Wales*. Paul Thomas, who led the research at Lancanshire-based truffle biz Mycorrhizal Systems, told The Register for his team: "It's completely unexpected." The price of the Périgord black truffle, known scientifically as Tuber melanosporum, varies from year to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paul Thomas, who led the research at Lancanshire-based truffle biz Mycorrhizal Systems

    Sounds like a fun guy

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Probably plays the tuba as well.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Actually, he came across very well when he appeared on Dragon's Den a few years ago. He'd done his research, and spoke confidently. One of the Dragons said "I love the idea, and I'm very impressed with you" or words to that effect.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/brightideas/6957082/Dragons-Den-truffle-grower-hopes-to-unearth-profit-after-five-years-cultivation.html

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not mushroom for humour here.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            but they are magic.

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Oh, I get it now, sorry for being slow on the uptake. Evidently the coffee didn't work do I'll now try beer.

    2. WolfFan Silver badge

      Wrong Paul Thomas. This one https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Thomas_(director) was a fun guy. Played Peter in Jesus Christ, Superstar, and, umm, used his peter in many other films.

  2. Ralph the Wonder Llama

    "there are always unknowns"

    How do they know?

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: "there are always unknowns"

      Because there are known knowns, and there are unknown unknowns too. But there are also known unknowns, and unknown knowns.

      Or they asked George W. Bush.

      1. TimR

        Re: "there are always unknowns"

        Surely that should be Donald Rumsfeld...?

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: "there are always unknowns"

          "Surely that should be Donald Rumsfeld...?"

          I apologise for providing the organ grinder when you wanted the monkey.

          1. TimR

            Re: "there are always unknowns"

            Apologies - if I had bothered to follow the link, I would have known that you had known

            1. wolfetone Silver badge

              Re: "there are always unknowns"

              I didn't know that was unknown to you?

              1. TimR

                Re: "there are always unknowns"

                So, it was unknown to you that it was unknown to me that it was known to you all along

                I now know that it was known to you all along

                And, hopefully, it is now known by you that it was unknown by me that it was known to you all along

                Now I know I've got a headache...

                1. A K Stiles
                  Joke

                  Re: "there are always unknowns"

                  Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line?

          2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: "there are always unknowns"

            I apologise for providing the organ grinder when you wanted the monkey.

            Strike that.

            Reverse it.

      2. Richard Parkin

        Re: "there are always unknowns"

        Unknown knowns have turned out to be really important and we should call them Trumpian knowns since they form a large class.

  3. tiggity Silver badge

    UK truffles

    There are native UK black truffles (unattractive but tasty, irritatingly as they are below the surface best found with help of a dog, my find was accidental, when forking round a hazel hedge to remove weeds & found some) .

    As someone who has never tried extortionately expensive continental truffles, if anyone has tried them, are they lots better than the native ones? .. though native ones probably only cheap if you find your own!

    .. awaits frothing Brexiter moaning about Foreign truffles coming in and taking jobs of UK truffles (though as the native truffles are black, Brexiters might self destruct in anti Europe - pro UK Black dichotomy)

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: UK truffles

      You still haven't twigged. This climate change is a cunning plan engineered by British boffins to ensure that, come Brexit, we'll be exporting truffles and vin rouge to the world, while the froggies stare in dismay at their parched domaines. Next up, olive tree plantations in Lincolnshire.

      1. H in The Hague Silver badge

        Re: UK truffles

        "... come Brexit, we'll be exporting truffles and vin rouge to the world"

        Great idea, much better than exporting innovative jams. And under WTO rules we can export truffles to India, one of our target markets, subject to a tariff of only 30% (if I understand http://tao.wto.org/report/ExportMarketV2.aspx Duties faced in export markets correctly). Clearly much more attractive than sending them across the Irish Sea or North Sea with no tariffs at all. (Sarcasm intended.)

      2. Marketing Hack Silver badge
        Go

        Re: UK truffles

        Bring on the advent of the famous orange orchards of Sussex!!

  4. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    If they are so bloody expensive, does anybody know why people don't grow them in greenhouses?

    If they could be grown densely, I'd happily give up my shed in exchange for £1k/kg.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      does anybody know why people don't grow them in greenhouses?

      I'm not sure, but did the article suggest that an oak tree might be needed as a host? I'm fairly sure an oak tree wouldn't fit in my shed even if i did clear out all the junk nesting in it. Or is Quercus ilex a particularly tiny sort of oak tree?

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: does anybody know why people don't grow them in greenhouses?

        Truffles, AFAIK, grow on the roots of specific trees. On the continent they used to use pigs to find them as they'd be a little bit burried in the ground. However the pig would quite often eat them, hence the move to using dogs instead.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: does anybody know why people don't grow them in greenhouses?

          It's really difficult to cultivate a lot of fungi.

          They often need a specific tree root with specific soil bacteria as well as very fussy conditions

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: does anybody know why people don't grow them in greenhouses?

        "Or is Quercus ilex a particularly tiny sort of oak tree?"

        It certainly isn't.

      3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: does anybody know why people don't grow them in greenhouses?

        Bonsai oak Tree?

        If it's so lucrative, you'd think boffins would have found a way to simulate the conditions by now.

        Obviously not. I do find it interesting that evolution has produced species that suck so much at reproducing.

  5. TRT Silver badge

    Welsh Truffles...

    Is that like Welsh Rarebit? i.e. a posh name for cheese on toast.

    Welsh Truffles, mustard baked mushrooms.

  6. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    The Welsh desert

    annual .... and 107.69mm of precipitation.

    Has somebody got a unit wrong ?

    1. Steve Foster
      Joke

      Re: The Welsh desert

      Nah, just the time frame (the figure quoted is presumably per day, not per annum).

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Imagine.....

    A world where Blighty wins the First Prize for Premium Quality Truffles*

    And then you wake up.

    *Or whatever it's called.

    1. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Imagine.....

      A world where Japan wins first prize for a premium quality whisky.

      Oh, it's happened. The world changes.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Imagine.....

      A world where Blighty wins the First Prize for Premium Quality Truffles

      Or beats the French at making sparkling wine.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/20/english-sparkling-wine-beats-champagne-in-paris-blind-tasting/

  8. Pompous Git Silver badge

    "annual .... and 107.69mm of precipitation.

    Has somebody got a unit wrong ?"

    Perhaps you didn't notice but the article refers to "climate change". Wales is now a desert because climate change. If you claim it's not, then you are a filthy climate denialist. How dare you question experts?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wales is now a desert

      Presumably, since Japan can make award-winning whisky (as remarked on just above), but also top-class exotic foodstuffs of all kinds, what you really meant to type was "Whales are now a dessert"..?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Whales are now a dessert

        Ooh! I'll have a sperm surprise! I fancy a chance from humpback trifle.

  9. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Northern Oak

    I don't know whether the article was saying that holm oaks don't like northern latitudes or whether they just won't fruit truffles at northern latitudes.

    Either way, there's one in the Quad of St Marys College in St Andrews, at 56 20' 10" N (if memory serves me right) - said to have been planted by Mary Queen of Scots. Cue truffle hunting students.

    <fx>I think she's deed - No, Ah'm not. Thwack, bang...</fx>

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Northern Oak

      "I don't know whether the article was saying that holm oaks don't like northern latitudes or whether they just won't fruit truffles at northern latitudes."

      The home of Australia’s first black truffle Truffles grow in association with hazel nuts, not just holm oaks. We grow truffles here in Tasmania where they are considered a cool climate crop. Like Britain, Tasmania's Köppen Climate designation is temperate maritime. Just as when Tasmania was settled in the early 19th century. I fully expect the climate to change to temperate maritime again in the future, but unlike some refuse to panic about these unwonted "changes".

  10. handleoclast Silver badge

    Wrong sort of mushroom for Wales

    The Welsh are far more interested in mushrooms of the Psylocibe genus. Fortunately for the Welsh, these tend to grow profusely in sheep droppings. So recreational chemicals and animated sex toys can be found in close proximity.

  11. David Roberts Silver badge
    Coat

    Holm Oak

    https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/common-non-native-trees/holm-oak/

    Naturalised in the UK. Been here since the 1500s.

    So presumably the trick is to get the truffles to grow on the large number of Holm Oaks already here. Loads of them in Suffolk and Norfolk.

    Hmmm....might just take the dog for a walk....--->

  12. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    "In 2016, it was available wholesale for a pocketbook-clenching €1,000 a kilogram [...]"

    Still cheaper than printer ink.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      "Still cheaper than printer ink."
      And tastes ever so much nicer than ink!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019