French black truffles (Tuber melanosporum) have traditionally been produced in France, Italy and Spain. The fungus forms a symbiotic relationship with hazel (Corylus avellana) and oak (Quercus spp) trees. The truffles are detected by their unique aroma when mature. They are located using trained detector dogs in the northern hemisphere winter months of December January and February. Tasmania’s position with respect to latitude, climate and temperatures are very similar to the principal production areas of Europe and afford the opportunity to produce and supply traditional markets out of season.
This publication considers some factors involved in transferring and applying the technology developed by the French. It analyses the traditional production systems and markets and addresses some factors considered potential impediments to establishment and production in Tasmania.