Thus we entered the Contemporary Age, the 19th century, when, thanks to its greater presence in the French market, the use of truffles began to establish itself among the majority of the population. Ironically, this was due to a catastrophe that devastated many French farming families. They suffered the destruction of their vineyards due to the proliferation of pests. In order to regenerate the land and prepare it for planting more vineyards, the winegrowers planted oak trees. Over the years, these in turn produced truffles. And this increased supply, which popularized their use among the French population, resulted in an even greater demand. Although it is true that its presence on the markets faded during the world wars, in the 1960s, with the first plant inoculation studies, real plantations of this precious fungus began to be established. First in France and then in other parts of Europe, such as Italy and Spain.
The black truffle today
To give a recent date, in 2018 France already had 20,000 hectares planted, growing at a rate of 2,000 hectares per year and a production ranging from 15 to 80 tons. It is worth noting the fact that at the beginning of the 20th century, production in France reached over 1,000 tons. Spain on its side, in 2018 had 15,000 hectares planted, growing at a rate between 500 and 1,000 hectares per year. Although Spanish production is said to be between 40 and 120 tons per season, it is normal for Spanish production to represent between 30 and 50% of world production. Italy in 2018 had 6,000 hectares dedicated to Tuber melanosporum and is growing at a rate of 350 hectares per year. In terms of production, within Spain, the province of Teruel stands out. In the 2019/2020 campaign it had a production of more than 100 tons increasing by 25% the production of the previous year.
It is worth highlighting the fact that areas in the southern hemisphere have recently begun to produce black truffle Tuber melanosporum. This makes it possible to consume it fresh for longer throughout the year. And in this section, Argentina stands out with 85 hectares planted in 2018, Chile with 400 hectares and Australia with 600 hectares.