Information about Truffles
Ingredient - France
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are a fungi, like mushrooms, but which grow under ground. However, because they only grow in
particular conditions, i.e. next to the roots of certain hardwood trees such as
oak, they are relatively rare. In addition, the presence of such trees doesn’t
guarantee the presence of Truffles and the erratic way truffles spread makes
finding them very difficult. Harvesting
truffles is labour intensive and usually requires the aid of a specially trained
dog or female pig (truffles give off an aroma similar to sexual hormones, to
which female pigs are attracted). No wonder they are one of the most expensive
foods in the world.
There are about 70
different types of truffles globally some of which are better than others. The
colours range from black to brown,
grey to white with sized from 3 to 5cm in diameter. Many believe the best
truffles are to be found in Italy and France,
of which the most popular or well known
varieties are the White Italian Truffle and the Black Perigord Truffle.
The tastes differ in
that the White Truffle has a creamy texture and a clean taste whereas the Black
Truffle has a rich
earthy flavor reminiscent of nuts and mushrooms and an altogether more pungent
Truffles should be consumed within 3 days however they can be frozen. If
freezing, do so in small usable quantities as re-freezing ruins the taste and
aroma. They are also sold in jars, whole, sliced and pureed and used in
vinegar, butter and oil - great drizzled over simply grilled fish.
When used in recipes their unique taste is best savoured when added towards the end of cooking. In general, use White
Truffles for dishes such as scrambled eggs, pasta, risotto, veal and
scallops and Black Truffles with Meat and Poultry dishes.
can find recipes using this classic ingredient on the main France Cooking by Country
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