Queen Elizabeth’s husband has grown a rare delicacy after trying for 12 years.
Prince Philip is believed to be the first person in the UK to sucessfully grow rare black truffles known as ‘black diamonds’. He finally succeeded in growing the delicacy at Sandringham after more than a decade of perseverance.
The rare delicacy were harvested from Philip’s organic ‘truffiere’ plantation on the Queen’s estate in Norfolk where he is spending much of his time during his retirement.
The 97-year-old is believed to have been sharing the rare delicacies with other members of the Royal Family at meal times.
Prince Philip spent £5,000 on buying special truffle-impregnated trees in 2006 after being told that the alkaline soil at Sandringham was an ideal environment for them. He had the 300 oak and hazel saplings planted on a one acre plot beside the Royal fruit farm on the estate, which also produces blackberries for Ribena, Mirror reports.
It was revealed in 2009 that two Italian hounds, specially trained to sniff out truffles, had failed to find any in the root systems of the trees.
But Philip persevered and his patience has finally been rewarded in recent years.
Adrian Cole, a director of Truffle UK, which supplied the saplings to Sandringham, said:
They have been highly successful.
The majority have been The Tuber Melanosporum which is the French Perigord black truffle which is as good as you can get.
From what I gather, none have been sold. In other words they have all gone to the house or members of the family
You need a dog to hunt them. If you only go once every three or four weeks you are not going to produce very much, but if you go on a regular basis during the growing season you will increase your yield no end.
Mr Cole said he believed that Sandringham was the first place to successfully harvest black truffles in the UK.