Truffles are popularly known for being a luxurious and fine cuisine. It is a dish from classical times. Truffles are savory and edible fungus from the tuber genus. It is grown under calcareous soil close to the roots of trees like oak, birch, hazelnuts, poplar, beech, and pine tree.
Due to the spore-bearing body of truffles, most people consider it a type of mushroom. Though, it doesn’t taste like a mushroom. Truffles are fungi with fruiting bodies. Black and white variants of this classical food can be found in restaurants.
What do truffles taste like? Truffles have a garlicky taste with a buttery, olivey, and mushroom smell. Black truffles are the most common type of this gourmet ingredient and they have a nutty, earthy, and chocolate tone when you chew them.
White truffles have a slightly different taste and aroma. It has a little tone of garlic that is similar to that of shallot with a deeply pungent aroma. Generally, the savor or flavor profile of truffle is determined by the region it was harvested from, with the soil condition and acidity.
Its deep aroma, taste, and strong smell make it easy to be used in amplifying and enhancing the flavors of various cuisines that they are paired with.
Nutritional Benefits of Truffles
In addition to the benefits, truffles are appealing to taste buds and the satisfaction obtained from their consumption is high. It is highly nutritious and has been linked to a lot of health-boosting effects.
Truffles have a substantial amount of minerals and vitamins of carbohydrate, protein, fiber, vitamins C & B, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
It is an antioxidant-packed food. It helps combat oxidative damages to the human body cell thereby lowering the risk of dangerous diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes that eventually lead to death.
Truffles have antimicrobial properties that are important in reducing the development of certain strains of harmful microorganisms in the body. In recent research, it was discovered that extracts from white truffles decrease the chance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that is highly resistant to antibiotics.
Eating or adding truffles to food is an effective way of combating cancer naturally. It has strong anti-cancer properties that help block the growth of liver, lung, and breast tumor cells. Also, it is important in killing cervical and colon cancer cells.
Its inflammatory properties are very important to the human body. It helps defend the body against life-threatening infections. This luxurious food helps fight against the free radical formation and block the activity of enzymes that are involved in the inflammatory process.
It also provides the iron supplement needed for strong bones, teeth and slowing down the aging process. For vegans, truffles are a perfect substitute for meat as it provides iron and calcium. Truffles are important to achieving healthy eye health. It provides relief from trachoma, myopia, and hypermetropia.
Culinary Uses of Truffles
Truffles are eaten alone, crushed to make juice, or added to dishes. Perigold diamond, as French would call black truffles, can be added to improve the taste of scrambled eggs and omelets. Add the juice gotten from preserved truffle to egg mixtures to give it a subtle earthy flavor.
Boost the taste of your pasta with truffles! Carefully shave, thinly slice, or grate winter dark truffles over a bowl of creamy pasta sauce. Also, vegetables like celery root and leeks that have clean and fresh flavor will become tastier with the addition of edible fungus.
Another way truffles can be incorporated into our diet is by slicing them thinly and tossing them into Spanish olive oil to make truffle oil. The truffle oil can be drizzled over meat, mushroom dishes, and a wide variety of vinaigrette.
Fatty food tastes better with different types of truffles. You can pair perfectly cooked truffles with foie gras, butter, cheese, cream, and oil. You can finely grate this mushroom look-alike and use it to top a risotto dish.
Where are Truffles Found? How Do You Procure It?
Harvestation of truffles can be traced back to the early 1600s. The ancient Egyptians ate them mixed with goose fat. The word truffle was coined from the Latin word ‘tuber’ which means outgrowth.
While some believe the myth that the growth of truffle is associated with lightning striking the earth’s surface, others believe it is God’s gift to humanity because of its healing powers.
They are commonly found in Europe but the weather conditions in North America, Middle East, and North Africa also support its growth. Truffles gained popularity in Europe during the renaissance and were also honored at the court of King Francis of France during this era.
During its harvest season, truffle farmers use dogs or pigs to sniff out the distinctly strong smell of the food from the ground. Its preserved form is exported commercially to various parts of the world. After you get truffles, store them in a cool, dry place. You can store uneaten truffles in the freezer to allow you to eat them later.
Make sure you do not freeze them alone as the moisture in the freezer can quickly spoil them and lead to its quality loss. Pregrate them and mix them well with butter before placing them in the freezer.
Are Truffles Poop?
No, they are not. Although black truffles are similar in appearance to poop, they are perfectly healthy and edible. Also, they are not grown or harvested on poop. The number of truffles however can be increased when animals eat them and excrete the reproductive spores.
Facts You Didn’t Know About Truffles
- Black truffles tend to have a very rough and granular outer appearance that resembles a solid lump of earth.
- The class of fungus that can be referred to as truffles is generally known as leucangium, Peziza, and choiromyces.
- Truffles is a luxurious and expensive dish because it is hard to find and resource-consuming if stored for a very long period.
- The mycorrhizae process that leads to the formation of truffles in the soil takes about 7-10 years.