What Is a Truffle?
Truffle is a type of fungi found in the roots of trees. Unlike the common mushroom, which grows above the soil surface, truffles grow entirely underground on the roots of trees. Truffles are primarily found in Italy, and they can also be found in similar Mediterranean climates around the world.
Truffles are an elusive delicacy served freshly shaved or grated in some high-end restaurants and even more often as an infused oil or salt.
There are several species of truffles, but the most common ones are the white truffles and black truffles. Italy produces the most valuable white truffles, although there are truffle farms in North America and Australia.
White and Black truffles grow in symbiosis with a host tree, attached by microscopic mycelium to the tree's roots. The trees they grow in are mostly oaks or hazelnuts.
It is not irresponsible to say truffles are worth it despite being expensive. Not only are truffles edible, but you can also use white truffles to make a delicacy called white truffle pasta.
Truffle olive oils are olive oils that have been infused with either black or white truffles. They are created by soaking truffles in olive oils. They are a great source of antioxidants and are also used to infuse truffle aroma into dishes.
Why Are Imported Truffles From Italy Expensive, and Still Desired?
If you are interested in buying truffles, be ready to gasp at the prices. Truffles can go for hundreds or thousands of dollars per pound, despite the assertion that truffles grow best in a moist environment, and large truffles can appear overnight after a rain.
Why are they so expensive if they are so "easy" to find?
Truffles are costly because nobody has been able to cultivate them. They can only be found in the wild and are seasonal. So, this means you can import varieties of truffles at all times of the year, depending on the location. They can be black summer truffle, black winter truffle, white winter truffle, etc. White truffles are primarily found in the fall and winter, with November and December being their peak season.
If they are so expensive, why are they so desired?
Truffles have a marvelous taste that make them so desirable. They have an aroma composed of chemicals that mimic mammalian reproductive pheromones. Eating and sniffing truffles are like being drugged, but it doesn't make you randy.
Black Truffles vs. White Truffles
Despite having more than 200 truffle varieties, only a few are cherished for their culinary properties. Although they can be used interchangeably, what separates them are the truffle prices, seasonality, and how to use them.
Black Truffles (Tuber melanosporum)
They are the most common type of truffles. Black truffles are also known as French Black, Black Gold, or Perigord. They are in season from mid-November through mid-March, and they peak during Christmas.
White Truffles (Tuber borchii)
This is also known as bianchetto. They are available from mid-January through the end of April. White truffles cost more than black truffles. And can price well upwards of $200 per ounce depending on the season. White truffles are scarce black truffles and can only strive in every specific environment.
It is far easier to buy black truffles because they are more flexible to grow. Farmers can grow them if they have planted inoculated trees. That is why they can go as low as $50 per ounce.
Health Benefits of Truffles
Considering the widespread attention surrounding truffles, it begs reason to wonder if they are worth the hype. If you think they are overhyped, I am sorry to disappoint you. Truffles are worth the hype and their cut-throat prices. Here are some health benefits:
- They are rich in essential Nutrients:
Truffles have an impressive nutrient profile high in many essential vitamins and minerals. They are rich in carbs, protein, fiber, micronutrients like phosphorus, sodium, calcium, vitamin C, Iron, etc.
- Truffles are great antioxidants
White truffle flavored olive oil is a rich source of antioxidants, compounds that help the body fight radicals and prevent oxidative damage to your cells. Truffles are linked to lower chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases.
Black truffle oil is used as finishing oil on various dishes by chefs.
Where Can I Buy Truffles Online?
Despite the hype surrounding truffles, you should buy truffles from a reputable online store. Duke's Gourmet offers the best truffles on the market and at the most affordable prices. So if you want to buy all kinds of fresh truffles, we are the right place to go to. Since truffles are seasonal, we recommend you sign up with us to update you when the season starts and ends; also, you will be notified when theirs is a fresh truffle sale.
We import our truffles directly from France and Italy at Duke's Gourmet. We carry the best white truffles and the most beautiful black truffles. All our products are fresh as we get shipments weekly. They are full of incredible aroma and fantastic flavor that you will adore. Get started now and buy your truffles online at our store at the best price.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q) How to use Fresh Truffles:
A) Fresh truffles are best consumed when they are new. Black truffles might need a bit of warmth to open the bouquet. White truffles are much more delicate and should only be added to the food when thoroughly cooked.
Q) What does it taste like?
A) Truffles have difficult-to-place tastes, and it depends on who is describing them. Generally, they have an earthy taste and musky, meaty, or gamey flavor.
Q) Where do you source your fresh truffles?
A) Fresh truffles are best sourced during their seasons. You should be able to pick or buy top-quality black and white truffle between November and February.
Q) How long do truffles stay fresh?
A) It is best to enjoy your truffles fresh. However, they can still be consumed within 4-5 days. An autumn variety of the black truffle can retain its flavor for two weeks. But the high quality of both white and black truffles is best consumed fresh.
Q) What are some typical food ideas for serving truffles?
A) Truffles can be added to a variety of dishes. They include fried chicken, mushroom and sage stuffed spatchcocks, Gnocco fritto, mushroom soup, lasagna, roast turkey, etc.