In 1986 the Chernobyl disaster spewed out tonnes of radioactive fallout into the air, which eventually spread and settled across Europe. Radioactive Caesium – 137 is still settling in Württemberg (South West Germany), and has reached levels that have resulted in some low-level contamination of wild mushrooms, including truffles. Boars that have foraged on the affected fungi in Southern Germany have been found to be too radioactive for human consumption.
At the end of September Catriona the ecologist here at MSL flew out to Sofia, Bulgaria to attend a conference about cultivating the summer truffle. It was a big event with a huge turnout and even the Mayor of Veliko Turnovo showed up. Bulgaria has a great climate for growing the summer truffle, and we would love to set up some plantations over there. We have certainly got a lot of interest from the local land owners, so maybe MSL truffle domination of Bulgaria isn’t that far away.