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Riyadh's Truffle Festival Featured This Delicacy Of The Desert

A truffle market was recently held in Riyadh as part of a celebration of the country's culinary history, attended by farmers, retailers, chefs, and foodies.

The Desert Truffle Festival, hosted by the Saudi Culinary Arts Commission in the Irqah neighborhood of the city, featured the most recent innovations in the industry.

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The event emphasized the variety of truffles, which are a kind of underground ascomycete fungus and are prized as delicacies, that can be found all throughout the Kingdom.

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Yousef Al-Mutlaq, a Saudi farmer with more than a dozen harvesting initiatives, was one of the attendees and explained to Arab News how truffles were collected from the desert.

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“The truffle is a bacterial interaction between the ground and the tree called Al-Raqooq. The type of truffle varies according to the soil. In mountainous areas, the truffle appears in a white color called zubaidi, but if the soil is sandy, the truffle is reddish and called khulas. Al-Jabaa truffles come from land mixed between clay and mountainous soil,” he said.

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Mohammed Al-Enazi, a truffle connoisseur, was there with his own stock. He said: “After it rains, the truffles grow in the desert, and people go there to pick and sell them. It is pricey because everyone enjoys it, and we are glad to be at this festival where we can meet those consumers and link the farmers.”

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Festival goers had the opportunity to sample and purchase truffle goods, participate in seminars and contests, and watch live music and cookery demos, among other activities.

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Since an early age, Maha Al-Shammari has been gathering truffles, and she claimed, “I wanted to participate in the truffle festival by introducing truffles and their seasonal and agricultural types, and the cleaning and preservation methods.

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“We also roast truffles with butter for visitors who would like a taste. Since I was young, one of my hobbies has been to cut truffles, and over the years I have learned when they sprout and the best time to pick them.”

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A unique festival truffle latte created by the Saudi company Shovel Roaster was served in a bowl as opposed to a cup. Mutlaq Al-Shalahi, the executive manager of the company, said: “We enjoy developing new goods, so we wanted to bring something fresh to the festival. We created a truffle latte, mixing milk with truffle powder. The product was well-received by more than 300 visitors who tried it.”

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For the occasion, other companies also developed Saudi fusion dishes including dyaft fouziah, truffle marqooq, and kabsa with truffles.

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The event gave Saudi companies and entrepreneurs a stage on which to advertise their goods and services while also highlighting the developing food scene in the Kingdom.

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