Whether the world's best truffles are found in Piedmont or Périgord inspires impassioned debate, but the effects of dwindling supply and insatiable demand for the elusive, ultimate mushroom are unquestionable: prices through the roof, intrigue and deception, and ever more intensive efforts to cultivate. As international mycologist Ian Hall and his colleagues have written, “Attempts at taming the truffle, of ordering its growth and harvest, now span the globe, and there has been some success in unlocking the secrets of what French researchers have aptly referred to as la grande mystique.”The secrets of when, how, and where to collect truffles have been passed from generation to generation since ancient times, but artificial cultivation remains the holy grail. Here, in the most comprehensive practical treatment of the gastronomic treasure to date, the art and science of the high-stakes pursuer come together. This extensively illustrated volume brings the latest research and decades of experience to enthusiasts and professional alike, with coverage of the leading truffle areas including France, Italy, Spain, and Asia, and the newcomers: Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
The authors leaven their enthusiasm and expertise with wry humor, exploring the history and newest techniques. They describe in detail the commercial species and their host plans, natural habitats, cultivation and maintenance, pests and diseases, and harvesting with pigs, dogs, truffle flies, and even the electronic nose. Production in truffle plantations can begin after only three years, but often the rewards may take more than a decade. So there is plenty of time to read and prepare, and no better resource than this one.
Ian R. Hall, has worked as an applied mycologist and plant pathologist with the Ministry of Agriculture and fisheries in New Zealand and currently runs Truffles & Mushrooms Consulting Ltd. and Symbiotic Systems N.Z. Ltd., which deal exclusively with edible mushrooms and mycorrhizas. He has published on a wide variety of topics in addition to mushrooms, mycorrhizas, and greenhouse design.
Gordon Brown, an editor with the Otago Daily Times in New Zealand, has also collaborated with Ian Hall on two previous books on the cultivation of truffles in New Zealand. He and his wife run a proofreading and editing company, All Write NZ.
Alessandra Zambonelli, is regarded as a foremost expert in Italy on truffles. A professor and researcher specializing in mycology and applied plant pathology at the University of Bologna, she has published numerous articles on truffles and their cultivation. She is the president of the Italian Mycological Association (Unione Micologica Italiana) which connects mycological groups from all regions of Italy.
"Aficionados, chefs, and cooking students can learn a lot here about these lords of the fungi realm."-- Mark Knoblauch, Booklist "A fascinating new book."-- Cindy McNatt, Orange County Register "You should buy this book. ... It is pretty amazingly thoughtful and comprehensive and will surely become dirt-stained and probably also soiled by your truffle pig as you develop your empire. Really."-- Kathie Hodge, Cornell Mushroom Blog
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