the truffle market
1.1 Definition and presentation
Truffle is the name given to particular species of mushrooms that are found in the ground and grow in symbiosis with roots of various plants. A single fungus can give life to different truffles. There are two main categories of truffles on the market:
- The black truffle or Périgord truffle which is found in calcareous soils under truffle trees from 1 to 15 cm deep.
- The white truffle, the most popular and expensive variety on the market which is mainly found in Italy and Croatia.
Truffle harvesting in Italy was responsible for the origin of the first legislation concerning the collection of wild products on the national territory. Since then, the regulatory framework has undergone a series of changes in the hope of preserving the activity and limiting the black sale of the product, but to date the sector still lacks some main guidelines. Moreover, the truffle market is highly fragmented in Italy and consists of a multitude of small players who are breeders, gatherers and distributors of their products. The country continues to lead the rest of Europe in the production and export of truffles, boasting an ancient tradition of harvesting, thanks to the morphological conditions of the territory. In addition, every year there are an increasing number of fairs and events organized around the truffle, which leads to talk about a real tourism of truffle, attracting thousands of visitors.
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