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  1. ITV Report

First ever cultivated truffle harvested in Wales

A specially trained sniffer dog is used to find the prized fungi Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The first ever cultivated truffle in Wales has been harvested in Monmouthshire. The highly prized fungi is worth £400 a kilogram.

The farmer who cultivated the truffle said: "I still can't believe it, I'm over the moon!".

Wishing to remain anonymous, so that the location of the high-value orchard can be kept secret, the Welsh orchard owner added; "It's the most potent perfume I have ever smelt! Far better than the ones I've bought in. Wonderful".

The orchard was started, and is run, with the help of British scientist, Dr Paul Thomas of Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd, who produced the first farmed English truffle just last year.

This is a very exciting day. We knew this was coming and in fact the site may have been producing for a couple of years already, it's just that now we have a trained dog on site.

There's a very high demand for British truffles as they are some of the best flavoured in the world.

– Dr Paul Thomas, Mycorrhizal Systems Ltd
The small fungi sells for up to £400 per kilogram Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

As the truffles grow underground, specially trained dogs are needed to sniff out the ripe and valuable fungi.

The owner of the site started using fresh truffles to train the dog and the very same day, she found the first truffle on the orchard.

Although it's early in the season, the truffle was very ripe and incredibly well perfumed.

This first truffle is being preserved for prosperity and then harvested truffles will go to high-end restaurants across Wales and the UK.

  • The truffle: Known as the summer or burgundy truffle and native to the UK.
  • The UK once had an industry based around harvesting this truffle in the wild, but this almost disappeared as production plummeted when we lost most of our truffle-producing woodland.
  • The last full-time truffle hunter, Alfred Collins, hung-up his boots in the 1930s.
  • This species is usually harvested May-November.
  • British truffles sell for £400/KG.
  • This is the first ever cultivated truffle to be harvested in Wales.
  • The first ever cultivated truffle on British soil was produced last year in England.