Beauty is in the eye of the (truffle) beholder because they are actually not very pretty! Well we absolutely know that the exotic and delicious truffle is an outstanding treat that is well worth the cost. Cost often is determined by how difficult they are to find and cultivate. The tasty truffle is often difficult to find because they tend to grow beneath the surface, thus they are called tubers and like the potato they mature best beneath the surface and away from the light of the sun. The fruiting part of a subterranean (growing underground) fungus, truffles are held in high esteem by gourmet chefs around the world and can be incorporated into many fine dishes.
Imagine those first discovering the amazing truffle and deciding to eat it?
Most likely those first truffles were discovered by animals that dig or burrow to find their food. Hogs are notable for rooting out truffles and devouring them! Mankind has used their pet hogs to “ferret” out truffles in the forest, keeping them muzzled so as to preserve the exotic treats once their pet discovered them. A French gourmand named Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was an attorney and politician with an excellent palate for fine foods who spoke of the truffle as “a diamond of the kitchen” and was credited with promoting the gourmet delectable.
Today home cooks make use of white truffle in their recipes
Cooking for the family or wanting to impress the boss and his wife at dinner time is the ideal opportunity to “show off” cooking skills with gourmet ingredients including truffles and or the oil or honey that can be produced from them. These tasty treats can be either of the white or black variety but often the white truffle is easier to find. An abundance of recipes can be found that include using the white truffle and although somewhat expensive they add considerable flavour to the meals entree, be it beef, chicken, duck, pork, or rabbit. The distinctive aroma of truffles truly makes one’s mouth water with anticipation!
White truffle commonly grow alongside a wide variety of trees
Truffles can commonly be found growing within the root structure of trees such as the poplar, hazel, oak, and beech trees, just below the surface. Colour is usually brownish with white marbling to a pale cream or off white. They tend to be seasonal and grow during various times of the year in different regions so it can be expected that once the harvest is completed in Italy, another perhaps in Croatia will be ready to begin. Some regions do grow and harvest year round.
Purchase truffles at the optimum time for best flavour
Gourmet grocery stores and many general stores stock the white truffle when they can get them because they are “hot” sellers with a premium price. Cooks delight when they can be found and buy them up for recipes that will please their family and guests. Look for large firm meaty truffles with a strong yet pleasant aroma and use your favourite recipes to a fancy spread that will make you the star of your own kitchen!