CHILDREN digging in their allotment accidentally dug up a rare delicacy for supper.

Bishopstone Primary School’s vegetable patch enjoys a reputation within the village for growing sturdy root vegetables but now it has produced 18 gourmet truffles.

Unknown to the children their small allotment provided perfect damp conditions for the £35 truffles to flourish.

Two weeks ago, they discovered the fungal equivalent of caviar, which provided much excitement. But on Monday pupils could not believe their eyes when truffle after truffle started to emerge.

“The children were just so excited and they just dug and dug until they found all 18 truffles,” said headteacher Sue Walton. “It was a magic moment they will always remember.

“The children did not what to stop gardening. Apparently these truffles are very good to eat and we believe they are British Black Summer Truffles.”

The discovery is a stroke of good luck for the school after its onions were stolen a few weeks ago. The children had grown the vegetables specially for the village garden show, but they were swiped mysteriously when they were drying outside.

“This is justice after the onion debacle,” said Sue. “So more truffles to Bishopstone School.”

A chef from the Royal Oak pub, which serves organic food and prefers local produce, has inspected the truffles. And the school has decided to barter most of them in exchange for a discounted Christmas dinner from the pub.

The truffles are likely to be on the menu next week.

Specimens have also been sent to Kew Gardens to confirm if they are definitely the British Summer breed – which has the Latin name Tuber Aestiuvum.

The school has held on to three truffles in the fridge but hasn’t decided what to do with them yet.

“They are very smelly and have a pungent, earthy whiff,” said Sue. “But some people say they smell like walnuts.”

The pupils have produced plenty of artwork based on their discovery.

“The truffles have beautiful patterns inside and to see the children inspired by something they have found themselves is wonderful,” said Sue.

The allotment has an oak tree, which is believed to provide excellent growing conditions for the truffles.