Once called the food of the gods (and probably still is), truffles are a delicious and highly sought-after fungus in the Northern Hemisphere. No truffles have been grown in the Western Cape – until now.

Woodford Truffles, a local company specialising in commercialising the truffle industry in South Africa, has recently confirmed the discovery of the first Black Perigord truffle in the Western Cape. The fungus itself doesn’t look like much but packs a flavour (quite literally) fit for kings.

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Black Perigord Truffle

The location of the find? Altima farm, one of the properties within the Anthonij Rupert portfolio. Six years ago, the managers at Altima set out with Woodford Truffles in an attempt to grow the prized item – no easy task as truffles require very specific conditions in which to grow.

It was at this time that an orchard of young oak trees had been inoculated with mycelium spores and the rest, well, was up to the fickle weather of the Cape.

truffle mycelium
Presence of truffles confirmed!

Italian truffle guru, Prof Alessandra Zambonelli, predicted the imminent appearance of truffles in the area after a thorough on-site root inspection of the orchard trees earlier this year, before it was discovered by (super cute) sniffer dog Clyde’s clever nose – with probably more truffles to follow.

It looks like this is the very start of a blossoming truffle industry in the Western Cape.

Photography www.woodfordtruffles.co.za 

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