Charity rakes it in after woman finds truffle in garden
A WOMAN unknowingly pulled a white truffle from her garden – that would have been worth thousands had she left it to grow.
The discovery – described by a chef as one in 200,000,000 in Scotland – was made in a garden in the Portobello area of Edinburgh. The woman, who does not want to be identified, took the item to a restaurant where it was confirmed as an Alba truffle, usually dug up in Italy.
Fully matured, the truffle is worth around £7,500 a pound but the highly-prized edible fungus was still developing. Despite that, Campbell Mickel, owner of Merienda restaurant in Edinburgh, is serving the truffle on dishes for charity.
The finder was gardening, giving the vegetable patch an “overhaul”, when she discovered the odd object in her rake.
The finder, who wishes to remain anonymous, posted on social media on Sunday: “Has anyone else found white truffles growing in their back garden? I think I have!
“It looks just like this picture and smells weird.”
Once pictures were posted on Facebook, several people offered their insight as to what it could be. One user said: “Yep. Looks like a truffle. Is it growing out of the tree roots?” Another argued: “I am not convinced that is truffle, been a chef all my life and I am not sure.”
Eventually, Mr Mickel received a call and visited the woman to check for himself.
He said: “It’s one in 200 million. It’s off the charts that this has been found.
“I jumped into the car as soon I got the call and went down to see for myself pretty quickly.
“It was quite a young truffle and it had been out of the ground so it was imperative we used it before it was too late.”
The truffle is being served as part of Merienda’s Hot Potato and Roast Parsnip Air with proceeds of the dish being donated to baby bereavement charity SIMBA.
The truffle finder said: “I can’t believe I found a truffle in my back garden.
“I was giving the vegetable patch an autumn overhaul and I just raked it up.”
The gardener explained why using the truffle for charity meant so much to her. Referring to the death of her nephew, she said: “The truffle is named after my sweet little nephew Luca, a very special boy with amazing spark and character and resilience, our tiny, precious local hero.”
White truffles are highly prized by gourmets and chefs.