Der Spiegel is reporting that the forests of southwest Germany are hiding a giant stash of prized black truffles, enough to make the country a major player in the truffle exporting field.
The discovery stems from a hunch five years ago, when forestry expert Ulrich Stobbe and locksmith Ludger Sproll realized that the conditions in the region were perfect for truffle formation — there are lots of oak trees, loamy soil, and a history of truffle deposits in the region.
From there they set off on foot with their French Pointer Diana to prove themselves right. They spent three years and thousands of hours scouring the area, and have finally released a map of their findings, which is nothing short of shocking: the region is full of truffles! There are 121 sites to be exact, and seven different species, including the prized Burgundy truffle.
Just one problem, though: German law forbids truffles from being harvested because they are an endangered species.
But when and if the day comes when the German government allows the fungi to be picked and exported, Stobbe and Sproll have a plan: After years of experimenting, they’ve devised a successful formula for inoculating trees with truffle cultures and growing their own.