The Truffle is a thousand-year-old product, the first recorded variety is the Truffle of Terfez, in the north of Africa (Libya); it is mentioned in a text more than two thousand years ago, since then, an air of mystery has followed this produce to the present days.
The Greeks and the Romans were great admirers of earthly pleasures and were responsible for bringing us these jewels of the nature to the western world. With the fall of the Roman Empire the Church prohibited their use for several centuries. History has to be recalled with romanticism since the Catholic Church, while carrying a lot of power in Europe at the time, declared that only the Devil could be able to be inside something that is born under the earth and boost the libido. Perhaps not all is just legend.
In the XIII century, we can again find reference to the use of Truffles in a wedding reception of two French nobles. With the strength of the French royalty in the following centuries, the aristocrats continued tasting these products destined for the palates of a few, given the exclusiveness that has always followed the Truffles.
During the last three centuries we have suffered a rural exodus in the community and exploitation of natural resources, in addition to climate change. Due in part to these factors, wild Truffles have almost disappeared in the last twenty-five years, also given their scarcity and the relatively small profit generated by them (Council tax must be paid on harvest and in some cases land must be leased from the council at some cost). As a result, the majority of the Tuber Melanosporum currently consumed comes from controlled plantation farming.
Production of the Black Truffle could be misinterpreted as a step backwards in this environmentally conscious world in which we live, whereas actually the opposite is true. The ideal soil to grow Tuber Melanosporum in is situated a thousand meters above the sea level, as they require a high quantity of limestone in the subsoil and normally winter snowfall. For these reasons, these areas of land are not very favoured for arable farming. Truffle farming and its products ensure the continuity of these towns and communities, with areas undergoing reforestation with varieties of indigenous trees in an ordinate and controlled way, utilising land that would otherwise end up deserted and neglected. This process also encourages growth of indigenous fauna and preserves the natural ecosystems. Ultimately, consuming and supporting Truffles of Sarrion contributes to sustainable development in an ecological and natural way.