Why are truffles so expensive?

We all know that truffles are expensive. Everything on a menu that includes truffles like pasta is pricey. But why are they so expensive?

Let me start by explaining what truffles are exactly. They are extremely rare and very hard to find fungi. Yes, fungi are kind of like mushrooms but there is a small difference – mushrooms grow outside of the ground and truffles grow underground which makes them very hard to find.

There are different truffle species

  • Winter White
  • Winter black
  • Muscat Black
  • Musky Black
  • Himalayan Black
  • Chinese Black
  • Autumn Black
  • Summer Black
  • White truffles

Of course, there are more but not all of them taste good and some of them don’t have a taste at all.

The reason they are expensive

The first reason why truffles are so expensive is that they can’t be planted or farmed. They are wild and they prefer to grow in places where there’s moisture on warm days and nights that are cool. They also grow on trees like oak, pine, hazel trees.

Some of the most popular places for truffles are the Italian and the French countryside. Of course, some grow in Australia or the Pacific Northwest.

They grow very slow (four to six years for some types) and don’t last long when they are out of the ground.

The hardest step is finding them. The people that are searching for truffles use animals with great senses to help them find them. Some rely on swine which is very risky since the animal might eat the truffle.

Some train dogs as well. Once the ‘‘hunters’’ find the truffle, they carefully dig the truffles up.

So to answer your question on why truffles are so expensive – the whole process of finding them is very hard, long, and they are very rare.

The most expensive truffle is the white one – they are the rarest, have a short season, and they can’t be frozen. They are around $3,600 for a pound.