Have a go at solving this little riddle, what can sell at up to £110,000/kg, is found underground and the locations are jealously guarded? I won’t keep you in suspense, it’s truffles and they are being harvested Somewhere-in-the-South-Downs.
Before you speed off to the garden shed to unearth your trowels, this is not Gold Rush time, but it is worth considering an autumnal walk in the environs of Lewes armed with your trowel and of course your trusty truffle hound (or pig if you are lucky enough to have Italian connections).
The British truffle is tuber aestivum, a black truffle with a delicate sophisticated taste, but the reason why it remains elusive is due to its inherent properties. It is the least smelly of the truffles – nice for those whose palettes are only just being introduced to the glory of truffles – but difficult to seek out in its growing habitat.
To help you in your search, look under beech trees where there is little vegetation already growing, a good sign of the preferred alkaline soil and where you see a small dip in the leafmould, point your dog/pig in that direction.
Sometimes the local deli does have its advantages!