DR Dick Soper’s garden was recently open to the public, but it had one rare plant he could not show visitors.
In fact, he did not even know it was growing in his Great Saxham garden until he dug up the ugly brown lump he instantly recognised as a truffle, an underground fungus prized for its exquisite and unique flavour.
Dr Soper, a supporter of the National Gardens Scheme, said: “It wasn’t, as they lead you to believe, under an oak tree. It was under a prunus shrub. In France in Périgord they go for 1,000 Euros a kilo!”
Dr Soper has been told by Suffolk fungi expert Sue Thompson that she has never seen one here so he showed it to Justin Sharp, the award winning chef from Pea Porridge in Canon Street, Bury, who confirmed it was a truffle and cut him a slice to taste.
“It tastes wonderful,” Dr Soper said. “It’s vaguely mushroomy but totally unlike anything else. You can’t describe it.”
He plans to follow Justin’s advice to preserve it in oil.