Truffle lovers are well aware, the Black Truffle of Perigord is of extreme interest to pigs, particularly sows, as some variants secrete a hormone produced by boars prior to mating.
It is true that wild, sex crazed boars have been known to bite people’s fingers off in a fit of desperation, just to get a snout full of the androstenol hormone producing Perigord truffle. Indeed, it is no secret that farmers have long used boars to hunt for truffles, at their own peril.
However, it has recently been uncovered by Dr. Francis Martin, Plant Biologist at the University of Nancy in France, that the truffle, previously thought of as an asexual fruit, is also having sex.
Scientists are now studying sexual truffle behaviour in the hope that certain characteristics may regionally distinguish one truffle from the other, just like wine varieties.
Truffle growers have taken this news with mixed views, partly because they are aghast at the idea, and partly because the ability to rapidly produce truffles means the price is sure to plummet.
For the pigs, this means potentially a great deal more sexy truffles to hunt down. For the truffle, however, their sex life is now no longer a secret.