- White truffle prices are skyrocketing to $ 4,950, Bloomberg reports.
- The price increases are due to climate change and the expansion of vineyards invading truffle habitats.
- Truffles are one of the most expensive foods in the world because they are rare and difficult to grow.
Your plate of white truffle pasta could get a lot more expensive this fall.
According to Kate Krader of Bloomberg, prices for white truffles have jumped due to a combination of bad weather and declining truffle habitats, a rise in costs that could make truffle-infused dishes in restaurants much more expensive for consumers.
Bloomberg reports that at specialty food distributor Chefs Warehouse, white truffles currently cost around $ 4,000 a pound. Truffle supplier Urbani Truffles sees prices around $ 4,500 a pound and at luxury food retailer Regalis Foods, prices have jumped to $ 4,950 a pound for high-end white truffles considered “classy.” additional”.
These prices are significantly higher than a few years ago: Vittorio Giordano, vice president of Urbani Truffles, told Bloomberg that the same truffles cost $ 1,100 or $ 1,200 a pound in 2019.
In restaurants, these price increases will likely be passed on to the customer. One chef told Bloomberg he plans to increase the cost of a truffle pasta dish to $ 100 – another plans to increase the cost of a truffle, egg and oatmeal dish to 275 $, compared to $ 175.
While shortages of other products like diapers, computer chips, and furniture have been linked to increased consumer demand and booming supply chains amid the pandemic, white truffles are rare for many. very different reasons. Truffles, which are mushrooms, have traditionally been one of the most expensive foods on the planet, Insider’s Charlie Floyd reported. Their short growing season and short shelf life are part of what makes them so expensive, as well as the way they are harvested: while around 70% is grown nowadays, the remaining 30% are scented by dogs (before that, used pig truffle hunters).
But truffles are also difficult to grow because they require a specific habitat – a habitat threatened by climate change and deforestation. Since the 19th century, overall truffle production in France has fallen from 1,000 metric tonnes per season to just 30 metric tonnes, Insider reported.
John Magazino, director of national accounts at Chefs Warehouse, told Bloomberg there was “a good chance there won’t be white truffles in our lifetime.”
“During my daughters’ lifetime,” he said, “I’m pretty sure they’ll be extinct.”