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Truffle Wars

gareth renowden
Gastronomica
Vol. 8, No. 4 (Fall 2008), pp. 46-50
DOI: 10.1525/gfc.2008.8.4.46
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/gfc.2008.8.4.46
Page Count: 5
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Truffle Wars
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Abstract

Chinese truffles, close relatives of the French black truffle, arrived on world markets in the middle of the 1990s. Available in quantity at low prices, they were eagerly snapped up by traders facing a steep decline in European production. Despite having less intense flavour, they have captured a large part of world trade in truffles, and their harvest has brought significant economic benefits to rural communities in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces of southern China. In parallel, the development of artificial truffle flavouring has led to an explosion in ersatz “truffle” products, and the practice in many restaurants of boosting the flavour of inferior truffles with artificial truffle oils. However, recent expansion of truffle growing in North America and the arrival of southern hemisphere producers from New Zealand and Australia is extending both the quantity of truffle available and the season.

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