Truffle_Association_of_British_Columbia by yvtong


									                                  Truffle Association
                                  of British Columbia
                                                                   Spring 2008

Greetings from the Directors:              Fall 2007 TABC Meeting
President: John Neudorf                             The association wishes to
Vice President: Quentin Wyne               thank Dr. Dan Durall and the
Secretary: Sharmin Gamiet                  University of BC for it’s hosting of the
Treasurer: Cathy Wyne                      fall 2007 meeting at the Okanagan
Newsletter Editor: Shannon Berch           campus on 18 November 2007. The
                                           tour of the Genetics lab and testing
                                           facilities was particularly interesting.
Truffle Association of British             Thanks also to Cathy and Quentin
Columbia Spring Meeting                    Wyne who arranged the truffle
Date: Saturday March 29, 2008
Time: 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
                                           Dinner at Ricardo’s restaurant. 20
Location: Abbotsford Agriculture Centre    members and guests attended,
1767 Angus Campbell Rd Abbotsford          sampling truffles specially imported
Call In Number: 1-866-596-5277             for the event.
Access Code: 9345247#
        This meeting will include          Oregon Truffle Festival
discussion of current truffière            January 25 - 27, 2008
practices and a protocol for verifying     Eugene, Oregon
truffle production in BC truffières.              Several members of the
        The Association had planned        association attended the recent
to coordinate this event to take place     Oregon Truffle Festival in Eugene,
with the planting of the                   Oregon. Shannon Berch was the
demonstration truffiere at the UBC in      ever-eloquent MC for the Growers
Vancouver. Ongoing testing                 Forum, while Sharmin Gamiet and
however has revealed that the soil         Quentin Wyne provided assistance
pH has not yet reached the desired         to Charles Lefevre and his staff as
level. Following an informal               volunteers during the event.
consultation with Dr. Ian Hall and Dr.            Activities included interesting
Charles Lefevre it was decided by          presentations by Dr. Tom Michaels,
UBC staff that planting should wait        Dr Alessandra Zambonelli, and
until the soil pH has reached and          others, and visits to local truffières
stabilized at the desired level of 7.8 -   and a winery. Dr Ian Hall, who
7.9. As a result, it is likely that this   together with Dr Zambonelli and Dr
event will occur in conjunction with       Brown released their book Taming
the fall meeting instead. Good             The Truffle, provided the keynote
things come to those who wait, as          address, in which he described the
they say.                                  evolution of the New Zealand
                                           industry and some of the threats

facing the global industry in the        production of truffles, including
future.                                  Périgord black truffles, in British
        Unfortunately, some of our       Columbia truffières.
members contracted a vicious strain               Why, you might ask, does one
of the flu while in Oregon, but all      have to verify the production of
seem to have now recovered.              truffles in BC truffières? For a
                                         number of reasons.
TABC Presentation at the Pacific                  First, the first report of truffle
Agricultural Show                        production in a BC truffiere will be
        Dr. Shannon Berch provided a     big news since to date European
lecture on the challenges and risks      truffles have not been produced in
of attempting the production of          BC. And we don’t even know yet if it
Périgord Black Truffles in British       will be possible to produce them
Columbia as part of the Horticulture     here. We hope so, but we are not
Growers Short Course at the Pacific      sure. Hence the need for the
Agricultural Show. Now in its tenth      research and demonstration project.
year, the Pacific Agricultural Show is            Second, Tuber
a focal point for the agriculture        melanosporum, the Périgord black
industry in BC. We are grateful to       truffle, has look-alikes; look-alikes
David Trotter of the Ministry of         worth very little compared to the
Agriculture and Lands for the kind       Périgord black truffle. Primary
invitation to showcase the TABC          among the look-alikes is Tuber
research and demonstration program       brumale, the winter truffle. Also of
and explore the many challenges          concern are various Asian truffle
associated with this unproven yet        species that closely resemble the
exciting enterprise. The lecture was     Périgord black truffle. Even the most
well attended with approximately 40      experienced truffle expert cannot
or more persons in the audience,         distinguish among these species
despite the wide variety of other        without detailed morphological
interesting and unique activities and    examination of truffle tissues and
presentations there.                     spores and without DNA sequencing
                                         analysis. Even the most experienced
TABC Ponders How to Verify               truffle expert can be shocked to
Reports of Commercially Grown            discover winter truffles in a batch of
Périgord Black Truffles in British       supposed black truffles purchased
Columbia                                 from Europe to be used to inoculate
        At this time there have been a   seedlings.
number of truffières planted in BC                Third, we must avoid at all
and some are over 3 years old. It is     cost the mistaken introduction of
our greatest hope that one of our        these look-alikes into truffières in
members will create history by being     BC. Once one of these low-value
the first person in Canada to            look-alikes is in your truffière, there
discover a cultivated truffle in their   will be no getting it out and little
truffle orchard or truffière. The        chance of good production of the
TABC Executive has recently been         Périgord black truffle.
discussing how best to verify the

         In France, scientists and                  Fungal Collection, Pacific
nursery managers who failed to                      Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC.
distinguish between the winter truffle
and the Périgord black truffle               Reference:
inadvertently introduced the winter          Hall, IR, GT Brown, and A
truffle into truffières. According to                Zambonelli. 2007. Taming the
Hall et al. 2007 (page 152), “its                    truffle. The history, lore, and
spread through the truffle-producing                 science of the ultimate
regions has been regarded as a                       mushroom. Timber Press,
catastrophe”. Elsewhere in the world,                Portland OR.
there are major concerns about
fraudulent use of these look-alikes in
the truffle trade. Therefore, we need
to be vigilant in BC to avoid this kind
of problem here.
         Because of this, the TABC
executive has drafted steps to be
followed to verify that a truffle has
been produced in a BC truffiere. We
propose to discuss the need to
establish a protocol and the details
of the protocol at the upcoming
TABC Spring Meeting. For now, we
believe that the steps should include:
         The truffle must not be
                                             Truffle trees for sale at a truffle
         disturbed from the location in
                                             auction in France.
         which it is found until and
         unless an independent
                                             Truffle-Related Movie
         observer is present.
                                             No Reservations (2007)
         The truffle must be removed
                                             Directed by Scott Hicks. With
         in the presence of an
                                             Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron
         independent observer who
                                             Eckhart, Abigail Breslin.
         can verify the finding.
                                                     Despite its American origin,
         The identification of the truffle
                                             no weaponry, and an excellent film
         species must be carried out
                                             with several funny scenes regarding
         by Dr. Dan Durall, University
         of British Columbia –
         Okanagan, who is
         experienced, qualified, and         Culinary / Agritourism Tourism
         equipped to conduct both            By Quentin Wyne
         morphological and genetic                   An interesting article recently
         testing (i.e. DNA sequencing)       appeared on a Toronto travel
         to determine that it is indeed      website relating truffle tourism
         Tuber melanosporum.                 experiences available for the 2008
         The grower must agree to            tourist season. The Drome Region
         donate the truffle to the           of France is referred to as the heart
                                             of Truffle country, with 80% of

French production originating there.       maintain the highest standards of
The article, by Bea Broda Connelly         objectivity when speaking to our
appeared on her website Travel             progress and any watershed events
Video TV, and describes the ongoing        that (hopefully) may occur. The
trend toward culinary tourism              Association and its project were
experiences as a method of adding          discussed at the BC Culinary
value for producers, by providing a        Tourism Conference held at the
complete truffle experience, “from         Sutton Place Hotel in Vancouver at
the field to the plate”. While hotels,     the end of February. There is
Inns and smaller, on-farm                  enormous interest and excitement
establishments also participate, all       about the association, its members
offer similar attractions including        and producers. Hopefully the
visits to a truffle market, an             excitement will be tempered with a
opportunity to meet growers and            healthy dose of realty. It may turn out
learn about truffle cultivation and of     to be a long wait.
course, a cooking experience.
Truffles are presented in dishes from      Cautionary Note in Selection of
appetizers to desserts, paired with        Liming Agent
local wines and no doubt garnished         By Shannon Berch
with a hearty helping of truffle                    Two reports prepared by the
farming and industry folklore to           National Organic Standards Board
accent the experience.                     Technical Advisory Panel in the USA
        Of course, opportunities for       (please access via the URL’s
similar first hand food experiences        provided below) provide a review of
are developing world wide as               the activity and concerns about the
increasingly sophisticated tourists        use of calcium oxide (chemical
and food enthusiasts seek out the          formula: CaO; common names: burnt
source of their respective palate          lime, burned lime, quicklime,
preferences. Similar Canadian              unslaked lime, fluxing lime, pebble
offerings are now available in the         lime) and calcium hydroxide
wine grape and other food crop             (chemical formula: Ca(OH)2;
industries and there are undoubtedly       common names: calcium hydrate,
those who have been watching and           slaked lime, hydrated lime, lime
waiting with bated breath for BC           water) in soil.
truffles to hit the market.                         Calcium oxide or calcium
        Chefs across Canada are            hydroxide is used as a liming agent
very interested in the activities of our   in agriculture when a rapid pH
Association and its experimental           change is desired. However, calcium
growers. Certainly the potential is        oxide and calcium hydroxide cost
there for truffles, once they are          more than other liming agents, and
proven viable here, to be a boon to        are unstable, caustic in nature, and
local culinary tourism. For members        difficult to handle. Although calcium
of the local truffle industry this         oxide and calcium hydroxide will
opportunity also brings responsibility     affect a rapid pH change, they are
to appropriately manage                    not stable and depending on soil
expectations in this regard and to         conditions may eventually revert to

the insoluble form. Early studies
comparing rates of reaction for          alList/TAPReviews/CalHydrox.pdf
different liming materials concluded
that while hydrated lime reacted         TRUFFLE ARTICLES OF NOTE
more quickly than high calcium
limestone, differences largely           Friday, February 22, 2008
disappeared after 2 months. So, the      By JENNY BARCHFIELD,
patient truffle grower is rewarded       Associated Press Writer
before too long for using more stable    AUPS, France — Philippe Daniel
forms of liming agent, such as           opens a slim briefcase so buyers
ground limestone, by an equivalent       can glimpse his wares, then snaps
soil pH change at less cost and less     it shut with a wary glance over his
threat to human and soil health.         shoulder.
         Because calcium oxide and               Daniel is not dealing in
calcium hydroxide are difficult to mix   contraband but in truffles - tubers
in soil, uneven concentrations and       prized for their heady fragrance and
over-liming may result. Excess lime      rich, earthy flavor. One of the world's
can tie up available nutrients such as   most sought-after gastronomical
manganese, copper, zinc, and             treasures, truffles fetch astronomical
phosphorus.                              prices, and sellers like Daniel are
         Calcium oxide and calcium       always alert for spying competitors.
hydroxide can severely irritate and      Daniel used to deal in big quantities.
burn the eyes and skin, irritate the     But for the past five years, drought
lungs if breathed in, and cause          has been parching the Var region of
abdominal pain, vomiting and             southeast France as well as truffle-
diarrhea if ingested.                    producing regions in Italy and Spain
         Given the extreme pH change     - and today he can fit his entire
needed for most truffières in BC and     weekly harvest in a single plastic
the huge amount of liming agent          bag. He's not the only one.
needed to carry out this change in               Organizers at the market in
soil, the concerns about the negative    the Var village of Aups, where Daniel
effects of these two agents on           plies his wares, have had to suspend
human health and soil health are         the weekly wholesale auction, where
even greater than they would be if       middlemen used to bid tens of
these agents were used in the            thousands of dollars for mounds of
smaller amounts needed when used         truffles. The reason: these days
as fertilizer.                           there simply aren't enough of the
         I strongly recommend against    fragrant fungi. Now, foodies and
the use of these agents for soil pH      tourists buying truffles by the piece
change in truffières.                    have replaced the bulk-buying
                                         middlemen, and most transactions at
URLs for references:                     the once-bustling market are
Calcium oxide:                           measured in grams. At the Aups       market, the black truffle's price has
alList/TAPReviews/caloxtap.pdf           more than doubled over the past five
Calcium hydroxide:                       years, to about $560 a pound.

         Farmers say production is         a chance of surviving the sunbaked
down by 50-75 percent this winter          summers. "Anyone who doesn't
season and they blame global               irrigate will not have a single truffle,
warming, warning that if                   not a single one," said veteran
thermometers keep rising - as many         Montesano, whose face is as deeply
scientists predict they could -            etched as the wind-blown hills
France's black truffle will one day be     around Aups. Montesano waters his
just a memory.                             25-acre plantation of French oaks,
         This is not the first time        the black truffle's preferred host, with
weather has caused a dramatic              groundwater pumped from deep-
downturn in French truffle                 lying aquifers.
production. A severe drought in the                Climate scientists say it is too
early '60s more than halved the            early to link the drought to global
harvest, bringing it down to about 50      warming, but point to computer
tons. But the trufficulteurs, as truffle   models that suggest the entire
farmers are known, contend this            Mediterranean basin is getting
current dry spell is longer and more       warmer and dryer. The Met Office,
acute. "Climate change has got the         Britain's weather agency, says that
seasons out of whack, it's hotter than     by 2030, Mediterranean rainfall is
it used to be and it rains lots less,"     expected to be down by one-quarter,
said Jean Montesano, 76, a                 and annual average air temperatures
trufficulteur for more than half a         are likely to be up in Europe by as
century. "I want my grandson to take       much as 6 degrees Centigrade by
over, but if things continue like this,    2080.
who knows if there will be anything                Changing climate could mean
left."                                     changing truffle terrain. Already,
         Last year, the harvest of         producers in the southern
Italy's prized white truffle was down      hemisphere and in China are making
as much as 75 percent from 2006,           inroads. France imported 33 tons of
according to Andrea Rosin, the head        fresh or frozen truffles from China in
of truffle export company                  2007, overtaking French production
Tartufingros. Spain's 2007 black           for the first time. Australia and New
truffle harvest was down more than         Zealand, which introduced truffles
half from five years earlier, said         from Europe about 20 years ago,
Daniel Oliach, of a growers'               now produce a half ton of the fungus
association in the northeastern            annually - mostly for domestic
region of Catalonia. In Italy, white       consumption, said Ian Hall, the New
truffle prices were up about 60            Zealand-based author of "Taming
percent in 2007 from the previous          the Truffle" and other books on fungi.
year, and one white truffle, a giant       "If Europe's catastrophic decline
weighing about 3 pounds, 4 ounces,         continues, it could well be that the
fetched a record $330,000 at               Southern Hemisphere will overtake
auction.                                   production in the north," Hall said in
         Nowadays, say the                 a telephone interview.
trufficulteurs, only truffles cultivated
in irrigated plantations have much of

Tobacco to Truffles –                       financial analyst who’s worked in the
Revolutionizing the Southeast's             financial and the commodities
Farm Economy                                markets; Corey Rice who has a
NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Holly          degree in Ecology and Evolutionary
Springs, NC, USA, 01/04/2008                Biology from Princeton University;
         A North Carolina business          Advisor George Little, the 2004 NC
woman’s new company is investing            Gubernatorial candidate and
millions to transform 200 acres of          Attorney Mark Mirkin who specializes
farmland into the largest black             in the law of entrepreneurship.
diamond truffle orchard in America.                 Black Diamond French
The decadently delicious fungi are          Truffles will grow, harvest, package
prized by top international chefs and       and sell truffles to wholesale and
are one of the most expensive foods         retail customers around the world.
in the world. The crop is expected to       The company will also brand its
yield nearly $40,000 per acre, more         truffles through sales and marketing
than ten times the market value of          to retail customers. BDFT will
tobacco.                                    support local farmers as they
         Susan Rice, founder of Black       establish truffle farms of their own.
Diamond French Truffles Inc.                        Serial entrepreneur Susan
(BDFT), is the newest of only a few         Rice founded Black Diamond French
truffle cultivators in the United           Truffles Inc. in 2007 on farmland in
States. The company is staking              Vass, North Carolina, in Moore
nearly $25 million on her vision to         County near Southern Pines and
reinvent North Carolina as the Napa         Pinehurst. This area is located on
Valley equivalent of truffle cultivation.   280 acres of prime farmland. The
"Napa is to wine, as North Carolina         truffière will be 200 acres developed
can be to truffles," said Rice. "We         over a period of two years. This
are growing a rare gem in these             truffle orchard is set to be the largest
fields. This crop could replace             in the United States.
tobacco and single-handedly
revitalize our farming industry."
         Rice has put together a team       NON-COMMERCIAL WEB SITES
of experts to lead the development          OF INTEREST TO THE TRUFFLE
process at her Black Périgord               COMMUNITY
plantation located near the legendary
Pinehurst golf course, home to the          Truffle Association of British
U.S. Open. Rice is currently working        Columbia
with some of the first pioneers of US       New Zealand Truffle Association
truffle farming, including farmers,
ecologists and chefs. The company’s         North American Truffle Society
team includes: Business Developer 
Charles Warren, an investment and

Truffle Association of British Columbia
Personal Information Protection Policy

Effective January 1, 2004 the BC PIPA Act came into effect. The TABC has always taken great
care in protecting the confidentiality and privacy of our members, suppliers and partners.

The Association collects and uses personal information about individuals as needed and will only
collect use and only discloses such personal information in a manner that would be considered
reasonable under the circumstances, and with the permission of its members.

If you wish to submit an article for the next newsletter, or ask the directors a question,
send your email to the directors at:


Truffle Association of British Columbia Membership Information

Memberships are yearly and are to be renewed by the end of April. Cheques should be made
payable to the Truffle Association of BC, and can be mailed to:

Sue Gordon, Office Manager
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
Access Centre - 5785 Duncan Street
Duncan BC V9L 5G2

A tax receipt will be issued on receipt of your cheque


Business Name: ____________________________________________

Mailing Address:


Phone Number:______________ Fax Number: ____________________

Email Address: _____________________________________________

Do NOT disclose my email or personal information to other members;

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Yearly Membership $20 _____ Yearly Family Membership $25 ________


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