Also known as “Diamonds of the gourmet world,” truffles are a type of mushroom. In Italy people value the enticing taste of truffles and take pride in the flavor it brings to famous Italian dishes. Truffles are considered desirable as they are said to smell like heaven.
Truffles are Hunted
Truffles are found in forest areas of North America, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, and truffle hunting season takes place between September and May. Truffles grow about one to four inches underground on tree roots; they are found on the roots of various kinds of oak and hazelnut trees. Specially trained animals are required to find them. In the past, pigs were favored for finding truffles, but since they continuously ate them as a snack, they trained different animals to hunt them. Today, truffle dogs are trained to locate truffles through operant conditioning. Because truffles are in high demand and they are so difficult to source, they are one of the most expensive delicacies in the world.
Black and White Truffles
The two most well-known truffles are the black Perigord of France and the white winter truffle of Italy. Black and white truffles have their differences. Black truffles tend to have an earthier flavor and are often served on pasta or pizza. White truffles have a more garlic nutty flavor, they are the most expensive type of truffle you can buy and they are typically served raw over risotto, pasta, or scrambled eggs. Both types of truffles are always best eaten as fresh as possible since after about 4 days they lose their beloved flavor.
View our Spring Truffle menu, featuring black truffles!