Cairo: A truffle festival, organised by the Saudi state Culinary Arts Commission, is underway in the capital Riyadh with the aim of highlighting the link between the desert edible fungus and the national heritage and cuisine in the kingdom.
The second edition of the Desert Truffle Festival, running until Monday, promises a unique experience for visitors as it features diverse corners including an auction zone, an exhibition platform, an art show on truffles, workshops and musical recitals. In a corner dubbed the food zone, chefs display dishes using truffles in their ingredients.
The art exhibit, meanwhile, features information on the nutritious value of truffles and its species. Workshops, presented by chefs, teach visitors truffle dishes.
The organisers said the festival also aims to support local businesses, motivate chefs to hone their skills at the Saudi cuisine and shed light on Saudi Truffle’s heritage and surrounding culture.
Seasonal truffles are usually in high demand in Saudi Arabia following rainfall. Truffle hunting seasonally gets underway in the second half of January in rain-hit sites.
The fungus market has recently seen a brisk business in several regions in the kingdom, mainly in the Northern Borders, Al Arabiya TV has recently said.
Prized as a desert fungus delicacy, several types of truffles are available at the Saudi market.
Truffles retail for SR250 to SR600 per kilo, depending on the size, Al Arabiya quoted experts as saying. A box of truffles can sell for up to SR3,000.
Last month, a provincial truffle festival was launched in the Saudi North Borders region, which is famous for the popular delicacy.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to market its resources and diversify its oil-reliant economy under an ambitious development scheme known as Saudi Vision 2030.
The kingdom designated 2022 as the “Year of Saudi Coffee”, a popular national drink, which was celebrated through a wide array of events and competitions.