black truffles black truffles Aragonese truffles in Spain. (Photo: Ana del Castillo / Shutterstock)

You may soon be able to afford the most expensive food on the planet

Scientists in Israel are figuring out how to grow truffles.

Ever seen a truffle? If not, don't worry. You haven't been missing them at the supermarket for years. Your supermarket just doesn't carry them because they are too ridiculously rare.

In case you aren't a foodie, a truffle is basically a kind of fungus that goes really well in things like pasta. Truffles are crazy expensive, largely because they grow underground in the wilderness; people have to train dogs to sniff them out. It's a whole thing.

But that may soon change. Researchers from Israel's Ramat HaNegev Desert Agriculture Center just figured out how to grow desert truffles, a kind of truffle native to the region.

Like finding desert truffles, growing them is a complicated process. The fungi grow underground in the roots of a local shrub. The fungus helps the shrub get minerals, and the shrub gives the fungus sugar. The researchers had to figure out how to make that weird symbiotic relationship happen on farms. And they say they succeeded.

“In nature you’d need vast areas just to obtain the amount of truffles we grew in the experimental field,” said Ofer Guy, one of the scientists who worked on the research.

Now that people have figured out how to actually make more of these fungi, the truffles may go down in price. Foodies might actually start being able to afford them. And you may, one day, be able to pick up a pound in your local supermarket.


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