Lifestyle / Gastronomy

New truffles species discovered in Thailand

Resereachers in Thailand have found several truffle species in the northern area of the country — a first for Southeast Asia.

Sep 11, 2017 | By Pameyla Cambe

It was barely a week ago when it was revealed that scientists have made the groundbreaking discovery of what is possibly the world’s oldest wine in the depths of an abandoned cave in Italy. Now, researchers on the other side of the planet have dug up findings of their own that are set to change the face of the food world. According to research papers released by Thailand’s Chiang Mai University on September 7, 2017, two new types of truffle have been unearthed in the far northern area of the country

“We confirmed that they are truffles both from their DNA and their physical look,” says Jaturong Khamla, one of the researchers behind the new findings. One of the new species is a white-coloured truffle discovered in 2014, while the other, found a year later, has a brown exterior with a white interior. The species have been given the names “tuber thailanddicum” and “tuber lannaense” respectively.

In 2017, Khamla’s team also found another type of white truffle: “tuber magnatum”, the same species that is highly sought after in Italy.

The findings aren’t exactly a carbon copy of the beloved white truffles, however. “The white truffle (thailanddicum) is similar to the Italian white truffle but they have a mild smell and are smaller,” noted Khamla.

The discoveries were made at a national park surrounding Mount Suthep in northwestern Thailand. Unlike the rest of the country, Thailand’s mountainous north sees cooler and wetter weather — conditions in which truffles can thrive. Khamla and his team are specialists in fungi, having identified new mushroom species over the last 18 years. They have never seen anything like the truffles before, though. “These are first truffles found in a tropical climate,” announced an official press release. It is certainly a first for Southeast Asia.

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