As if white truffles weren’t already expensive enough, unusually hot and dry weather in Italy has sent prices soaring. Wholesale prices for the precious fungi have doubled, reaching more than $3,000 per pound thanks to “a dramatically smaller harvest this season,” Bloomberg reports.
Per the Telegraph, truffle hunters say that in some parts of the country, supply is down as much as 90 percent. In addition to skyrocketing prices, there are concerns that this year’s truffle yield won’t be enough to meet demand, and the ingredient could be impossible for chefs to get their hands on come November.
Wholesale prices doubling doesn’t necessarily mean diners will be coughing up twice as much for truffle-laden pasta, however: Restaurants can only expect customers to pay so much for the aromatic ingredient, so as Bloomberg notes, they’ll typically end up swallowing much of the increased cost. At Mario Batali’s Babbo in NYC, for instance, the white truffle supplement for the tasting menu is currently at $125, which is just $26 more than it was four years ago.
The higher prices also have yet to trickle down to derivative products like truffle butter or infused oils, meaning there should still be plenty of truffle flavor to go around this fall and winter. Fantasies of Christmas stockings overflowing with white truffles may have to wait till next year to be fulfilled, however.
• Truffle Prices Double to $3,200 a Pound [Bloomberg]
• You Might Actually Be Able to Afford White Truffles This Year [E]