Talk about a green thumb! Prince Philip is the first person in Britain to successfully grow his own black truffles, a Buckingham Palace source confirms to Us Weekly.
According to an earlier report from The Times, a U.K.-based publication, the Duke of Edinburgh first began his quest to coax black truffles from the soil at Sandringham – his wife Queen Elizabeth II’s country estate – about a dozen years ago.
In fact, Philip, 97, planted more than 300 saplings impregnated with truffle spores on the grounds of the royal residence in Norfolk in 2006. He was apparently inspired to give truffles a try given that the royal fruit farm is known for successfully yielding apples, gooseberries and blackcurrants. He had also been informed that Sandringham was well-suited for truffles because of its alkaline soil.
However, given that the royal went over a decade without seeing the literal fruits of his labor, the hunt for black truffles became a bit of a running joke as trained truffle dogs repeatedly failed to find any of the fungi year after year.
Still, it appears Prince Philip was rewarded for his patience just before Christmas 2018 when the saplings (now trees) finally yielded an impressive black truffle crop. “They have been highly successful,” Adrian Cole, a director of Truffle UK, which supplied the royal’s trees, told The Times. “The majority have been the French Périgord black truffle, [which are] as good as you can get.”
Though truffle prices vary, black truffles such as the ones Prince Philip has cultivated typically sell for around $90 an ounce.
And although the duke’s initial plan was to sell his truffles in order to raise money which would help with managing the royal residence, Cole said he believes the Greece-born royal has kept the crop close to home. “From what I gather, none has been sold,” he explained. “They have gone to the house or family.”
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