The Business of Truffles
The estimated price per pound of white truffles is $6,000 and up. This food is one of the most expensive delicacies on the face of the earth. Sensual and mysterious, truffles were thought to be an aphrodisiac by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Their high price is due to their unpredictable growth habits. Truffles have never been successfully farmed, they have never been domesticated. Years of experience has taught the seekers of this ancient food that the best way to find them is by training dogs and pigs to smell them under the soil. This mushroom grows underground near the roots of an oak tree. People who search for truffles, known as truffeculteurs, work alone and closely guard their proven locations as a pirate would guard his treasure chest.
White winter truffles, also called Alba truffles after the area in which they are found, are by far the priciest. Today the price ranges between $6,000 to $10,000 a pound. Italy and western Europe are the traditional areas were truffles have been sought for centuries.
Black truffles of the highest grade go for $1,000 and up per pound. In this instance, some brave Americans are trying to encroach on this traditionally European market. Pat & John Martin own a company called Virginia Truffle Growers. To even enter this small farm, one feels like he is entering a government facility closely guarded with state secrets. Their business is to sell trees that produce black truffles and to offer guidance to perspective truffle entrepreneurs as to how best to make each grower successful.
Tasmanian truffle grower Terry is helping US growers translate her years of experience in Austria to a viable business here in the States. It will take about four or five years, but Terry has had success in planting trees that will eventually yield this black mushroom gold.
So forget oil speculation, discard stocks and precious metals, eliminate real estate and move all your money into truffles. It has been around since ancient times.