Pecan Truffles: A growing Industry

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The pecan industry has seen impressive growth over the last ten years, with in-shell prices climbing from less than a dollar a pound to now averaging over 2.50 per in-shell pound, pecan growers have been harvesting big profits. The shelled pecan price has of course followed suit and climbed right along with the ever-increasing demand. Now with the organization of the American Pecan council the future looks even brighter for the pecan industry. But there has been a small but even more profitable industry silently growing in the pecan industry, it’s the pecan truffle. A truffle if you didn’t know the fruiting body of a subterranean Ascomycete fungus. Truffles are found near tree roots. The pecan truffle once discarded by pecan growers is now gaining popularity and is said to bring from $150 to as high as $300 per pound at market. Edible truffles are highly prized in the food industry for the aromatic and intense flavors. The pecan truffle has been reported in 16 US states 2 states in Mexico and 2 Canadian provinces. Since the truffle fruits underground it is believed to be wider spread than reported. Students from the University of Florida are currently working with Tim Brenneman of the University of Georgia and Greg Bonito of Michigan State University to document the distribution and to understand the fruiting patterns of truffles. You can find more information about truffle research here.