In terms of market, the South African market for truffles grows every month and is currently met through imports. Restaurant owners and up-market food outlets (including Woolworths) are all watching our truffle industry growth with interest.
Tuber magnatum (Piedmont White truffle): High value – found only in the wild. Artificial production is not yet successful. Mostly found in Italy.
Tuber melanosporum (Perigord – Black truffle): High value – 7-8 years before truffles can be harvested. Successful production in South Africa.
Tuber aestivum (Summer truffle): Lower value. Not as pungent an aroma as the black truffle therefore not as sought after. Time to harvest is 3-4 years.
Tuber borchii (Bianchetto truffle): Similar in value to Summer truffle. Broader ecological adaptability
Tuber brumale (Winter truffle): Low value. Unscrupulous traders market these as the rarer Black truffle.
Tuber indicum (Chinese truffle): Lowest value. Marketed as Black truffle to uninformed buyers.
Desert truffle: Truffle-like species (‘Kalahari’ truffle)
Reference: Taming The Truffle The History, Lore, and Science of the Ultimate Mushroom. 2007
Truffles – types of