A rare delicacy, now available

A rare and wild delicacy that emerges from the deserts of Botswana and Namibia once a year, the Kalahari truffle, known as Mahupu in Tswana, offers an unforgettable, nuanced earthy flavor to any dish or product. Similar to its relative the black truffle but perhaps even more precious, the Kalahari truffle awakens something primal and passionate in those who eat it.

Whether grilled, sliced raw, or infused, its singular aroma with savory hints of bush grass make the taste of the Kalahari truffle
truly unforgettable.

Once bringing these
Kalahari delicacies to the world was a distant dream. But no longer. The irresistible chance to try a Kalahari truffle is now a reality.

Our Story

Our story begins in a village outside of Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. This is where we founded the most successful female-owned, socially responsible exporter of harvested natural products from the Kalahari desert. The village's first inhabitants are thought to originate from the Matebele people from western Zimbabwe.

For the last 15 years, we have been working closely with local communities to sustainably harvest natural products in the Kalahari desert. In part thanks to our exports, traditional Kalahari products have gained widespread popularity as an extract and supplement in Europe. 

It is through a trusted, lasting relationship with our local Motswana community partners to harvest natural products that we were introduced to the culinary wonders of the Kalahari truffle. Enjoyed by locals for centuries, the Kalahari truffle can now be discovered by the wider world.

Due to its seasonal nature, geographic remoteness and unfamiliarity, a regular and predictable supply of these “golden food gems” was customarily out of common reach. However, because of long-lasting relationships with hundreds of harvesters, our unique access to the Kalahari desert, and growing culinary interest, we are now able to sustainably source this untamed delicacy. 

Our truffles and truffle products are not only eco-friendly but are fully licensed by the Department of Forestry and Range Resources of Botswana. Most importantly, our harvesting operations not only unearth and capture the savory, rich flavors of the Kalahari Desert but provide meaningful income for our rural farm community partners.  

What Are Kalahari Truffles?

Culture

The desert truffle, Terfezia pfeilii of the Hypogeous ascomycete family, differs from its highly sought-after ...

Flavor, Taste and Texture

A rare delicacy, Kalahari truffles have a flavor somewhere between corn and asparagus with a light ...

Food Preparation

The Kalahari truffle is often sliced (raw or cooked) with drizzled olive oil and parmesan cheese or ...

About Our Kalahari

Truffle Operation

We are a fully licensed harvester of Kalahari Truffles. Based in Southern Africa, over 80% of our seasonal harvesters are women.

Dedication. 

Quality.

Sustainable.

Our Kalahari Truffles are harvested by dedicated professional and fully licensed harvesting specialists.

But you only need to nose into a sack of them to catch a whiff of the singular scent that inspires a seasonal passion in everyone from the poorest shack dweller to the hottest chef: the earthy redolence of the Kalahari truffle.

ROBYN DIXON

Los Angeles Times

Customers served! 50 + Customers served!

local Harvesters employed 

Customers served! 50 + Customers served!

Years of sustainable operations

Customers served! 50 + Customers served!

unique Kalahari truffle products

Our Truffles

Culture

Kalahari truffles grow close to the surface and are only visible to the trained eye of seasoned local truffle hunters as cracks in the red soil.

Referred to as “manna from the heavens” in the Old Testament and across the Middle East, as well as being highly coveted by Botswanans and Namibians, the desert truffle can be found growing in select areas of the Kalahari Desert.

The history surrounding desert truffles stems back thousands of years. In the 1st century, Africa’s truffles were dined on by Roman emperors and described by Pliny the Elder as ‘the most esteemed’ truffle.

The desert truffle, Terfezia pfeilii of the Hypogeous ascomycete family, differs from its highly sought-after tuber relative of southern European fame by favoring arid soil. It is found in dry and semi-arid areas including the Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula, and Southern AfricaKalahari truffles grow close to the surface and are only visible to the trained eye of seasoned local truffle hunters as cracks in the red soil. 

Flavor, Taste and Texture

A rare delicacy, Kalahari truffles have a flavor somewhere between corn and asparagus with a light “mushroomy” perfume. The texture is smooth and firm (somewhere between a firmer mushroom and a soft potato), the flavor nutty, buttery, earthy - subtle savory perfumes and floral hints of bush grass are its essence.

The Kalahari truffle is beige to brown in color (matching its desert environment) and can be eaten raw as well as cooked in a variety of ways, from traditional baking in searing sand to sauteing in butter and incorporated in specialty recipes in a variety of forms (shaved, cooked, or blanched).

Desert truffles ready to be harvested.

Food Preparation

Our Kalahari Truffles make any pasta perfect.

The Kalahari truffle is often sliced (raw or cooked) with drizzled olive oil and parmesan cheese or cooked with cream, lemon and butter and served as a starter (like portobello mushrooms) or used to add a savory touch of flavor via generous shavings (a la porcini mushrooms). It can also be served as a main dish (similar to the starter preparation).

Like the white or black truffle, the Kalahari truffle is ideally suited for creamy pasta dishes like tagliatelle or linguini or utilized in fillings for ravioli and tortellini. 

Whether sliced thick and grilled in olive oil and placed over a lovely beef fillet or incorporated into a slow cooked venison stew or savory chicken pie, the Kalahari truffle exudes earthy, rich flavor throughout.

Its truffle shavings also add great flavor to fried or scrambled eggs while sliced kalahari truffles over avocado and toast is a perfect start to the day.

We’d love to talk about Kalahari Truffles!