what is a truffle

When it comes to expensive food items, you must be wondering what is a truffle. There are many people among us who are still unaware of truffles. It is quite famous in Tuscany and is available in many forms. In my today’s post, we will discuss a bit more about what is a truffle. Here, I will tell you where they grow, their taste/price, how to use them, and more. Do not miss to check out the difference between what is a black truffle vs white truffle. Without wasting much time, let’s find out everything about what is a truffle in brief.

What Is A Truffle?

A truffle is an edible spore that usually grows on an underground fungus. It belongs to the Tuberaceae family. Most people get confused between truffles and mushrooms. So, where are truffles found? Truffles grow underneath the surface and mushrooms grow above the ground. Truffles are very hard to source as they lose their potency quickly after being harvested.

Now, you must be thinking about what is a truffle chocolate dessert. It’s a type of chocolate confectionery made from chocolate ganache and cream. You can keep on reading to know more about what is a truffle.

Different Types Of Truffles

Truffles are categorized according to their color and growing season. Below, I have listed down the most common types of truffles found in the market.

  • Black Truffle

Black truffles are also known as Perigord truffles or French black truffles. They are popular as they have a less pungent flavor than others. A typical black truffle is grown in France, Italy, and Spain. In fact, it looks similar to a solidified clump of soil. 

  • White Truffle

White truffles have a pale, yellowish appearance. They look like rough-skinned, lumpy new potatoes. You can find white truffles mostly in Alba. This type of truffle is best-suitable for truffle pasta, salads, fish, and flatbreads. It has a pungent flavor and aroma just like shallots.

  • Burgundy Truffle

These types of truffles are also known as autumn truffles due to their harvesting months. Burgundy truffles are less pricy compared to white and black truffles. They mainly grow in France and Italy. Burgundy truffles are known for their reddish dark brown color.

  • Bianchetto Truffle

Bianchetto truffle is also known as a spring white truffle. They mostly have a tan to medium brown shade with some dark spots all over their surface. The inside part of the Bianchetto truffle is a medium brown in color with white marbling.

  • White Alba Truffles

White Alba truffles are lighter in color compare to bianchetto truffles. They are often found in the Piemonte and Marche regions of Northern Italy. These types of truffles are mainly famous for their strong and distinctive flavor.

Other Factors About Truffle To Consider

In this section, I will discuss a few other factors you must know about truffles.

  • Cultivation

You can easily cultivate and harvest truffles around tree roots in damp environments. Large truffles can appear overnight after rain. Farmers usually use female pigs for this process. But what is a truffle pig used for? Female pigs are excellent for hunting truffles! This is because they have a refined sense of smell and truffles contain androstenol. 

  • Taste

The taste of truffles is quite complex! They have an earthy, musky, umami-rich flavor. However, the taste may vary depending on its type. For example, black truffle has a more earthy aroma and taste. Whereas white truffle has a more pungent smell and flavor. Truffles will emit their aroma and flavor continuously until it’s gone. 

  • Purchase

Buying truffles is a very tough task. They are so rare and perishable that you can either cultivate them or buy them directly from a forager. Depending upon the place where you live, you can find them at specialty Italian shops and gourmet stores. You can also purchase them online in ounces.

You can keep on reading to find out why are truffles so expensive.

  • Cost

Buying truffles can go for hundreds of dollars per pound! They have a higher price range because they are only found in the wild and are very seasonal. You can find them mostly in fall and winter. The peak season of truffles is in November and December.

  • Cooking

Just like other delicate ingredients, truffles can be used in several dishes. You can shave them thinly over the top of hot, cooked food before serving. Let the warmth of the food activate its flavor and aroma. It can also be served on cooked meats like beef, pork, or boar.

  • Storage

Storing truffles correctly is very important as they lose their flavor and aroma after digging out from the ground. It is best advised to use fresh truffles within 5 days. You can also store them in the fridge in an airtight container. Make sure you add some dry rice to prevent its surface from moisture loss. 

Let us now check out what is a truffle used for.

  • Uses

Truffle-infused olive oil is widely used in homemade foodstuffs. Truffle oil is slightly less expensive than fresh truffles. You can also make homemade truffle butter by mixing simple butter with truffle oil or truffle pieces. This butter is super creamy, spreadable, and highly infused with truffle flavor. You can use it just like your regular butter and save it for special occasions.

On Whatisss you can get to know more facts like these.

FAQ

What Are The Different Types Of Truffle?

Truffle Species

  • Black Perigord truffle (Tuber melanosporum)
  • Winter Truffle (Tuber brumale)
  • Summer Truffle (Tuber aestivum var. aestivum)
  • Burgundy Truffle (Tuber aestivum var. uncinatum)
  • Bianchetto Truffle (Tuber borchii)
  • Oregon White Truffle (Tuber oregonense/Tuber gibbosum)

Are There Two Types Of Truffles?

The Two Main Types of Truffles
White truffles are generally much more expensive than their black cousins. The flavor of white truffles is very pungent and earthy. White truffles are very aromatic, but their scent and flavor dulls with cooking.

What Is The Difference Between A White Truffle And A Black Truffle?

Taste and appearance
Both the taste and smell of white truffles can easily overwhelm a dish, so they’re usually microplaned sparingly over pasta or used as a garnish. Black truffles have a rough, rigid exterior, similar to tree bark. Their flavor is more subtle than white truffles, accompanied by an earthy aroma.

What Is The Rarest Type Of Truffle?

White truffles are considered the rarest variety of the species, so it’s no surprise they cost big bucks. But just how many big bucks might surprise you. In 2016, a 4.16-pound (1.88-kilogram) white truffle — the world’s largest — sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $61,250.

Conclusion

By reading my above post, you’ve got to know what is a truffle made of in detail. A truffle is an edible spore that usually grows on an underground fungus.  It belongs to the Tuberaceae family. This ingredient is very tough to find truffles as they are very rare. But you may find them at specialty Italian shops, gourmet stores, or online. Buying truffles online can get expensive due to their delicate nature. The flavor of black truffle is woody, musky, and even chocolatey. You can now easily make homemade truffle oil and dishes by understanding what is a truffle.