A comprehensive guide to truffles
Truffles are often mistaken for the sugary confectionary that is made from chocolate. A truffle is an uncommon fungus that grows under very specific conditions. It may appear like a mushroom at first glance, but it is a type of fungi in truth.
Truffles are also quite hard to find; however, they are worth the effort once you find them. The fungi are filled with aroma and are scrumptious when served with different kinds of meals. You can locate truffles abundantly in France and across the Middle East. Other areas have a scarcity of these fungi.
The best thing about truffles is that they have abundant uses. You can enjoy them raw by shaving the fungi onto a ready dish such as risotto. Alternatively, dry the truffle and combine it with scrambled eggs.
In the past, Truffles were a delicacy only fit for nobles and high ranking individuals. History shows us that roman nobles used to utilize these fungi when preparing several foods such as salads. Nowadays, it is a bit easier to procure truffles since they are sold in several restaurants at a hefty price.
Renowned chefs and food enthusiasts always strive to find truffles because of their exquisite taste and rarity globally. However, their popularity is primarily because of their aroma enhancing property. It might be hard to believe but, truffles can make virtually any dish into a tasty flavor-filled treat.
It may come as a surprise, but many individuals don't know about truffles. So before questions concerning this delicious fungi start popping up in your mind, here are the critical aspects that everyone should know about truffles.
- The appearance
Truffles, at first glance, may have a similar appearance to large chocolate chunks. The fungi can be found growing naturally in woodland areas that contain calcareous soil. A truffle grows mainly underground, but since it is a symbiotic fungus, it can also grow well at the base of trees, for instance, hazelnut.
Not all truffles are similar in appearance, there are different fungi varieties, and not all are edible. The edible form of this fungi occurs in two primary ways; white form and dark-brown form. The truffle can seem like a short mushroom that has fattened to look like a nugget.
The edible fungi have a rough granulated exterior that is dark, but the interior differs depending on the truffle type. The black form has a marbled wagyu beef appearance when you cut it, whereas the white form has a slightly different streaked appearance.
Truffles do not grow to huge proportions; they normally develop up to 1 inch in width and can weigh more than a pound.
- Truffle cultivation and Harvesting
Growing truffles seems like a logical and rewarding endeavor. A single pound of this edible fungi goes for roughly 1,200 dollars, so why not plant it for sale?
However, growing truffles is a tricky and tedious procedure that involves cultivating the fungi on Oakwood's roots. The whole farming process from spore planting to harvest can span over three years. Since the conditions also have to be perfect so you can get a harvest, truffle farming can be a stressful, expensive business.
Truffle growth starts with inoculating spores at the base of a suitable host seedling, for example, hazelnut. The trees should be placed at a considerable space from each other. As time goes by, the truffle will start to develop.
The truffle and the tree cultivate a symbiotic association whereby the tree and fungi benefit from their mutual existence. The sapling will receive phosphorous as it provides carbohydrates to the fungi that are essential for optimal growth.
When the harvest season arrives, growers utilize trained sows and canines to sniff and locate the edible fungi through scent. This technique is widely called truffle hunting as the animals' search for subterranean truffles, and the grower can harvest them.
The truffles can develop a foot or two away from the earth's surface and have to be excavated so that you can collect them. Truffles can also develop naturally in the untamed habitat. Professional truffle hunters often go into the wild during the truffle season to locate and reap truffles.
- The confusion over truffles and mushroom
Many individuals confuse truffles with ordinary mushrooms. However, the two plants have distinct variations. For instance, truffles only develop under the soil, whereas mushrooms develop above the earth's surface.
However, since the truffle contains a spore-carrying structure, many individuals consider it a close relative of the mushroom. Since both plants belong to the fungi family and have fruiting structures, it is easier for most people to assume they are the same.
- Cooking truffles and the taste
Depending on the type of truffle you want to consume, you can expect different flavors. Black truffles have a strong aroma, and many individuals insist that the taste improves after you cook it.
The flavor of the black truffle has been identified as earthy, crunchy, and musty. The taste may vary depending on the specific variety of the black truffle.
On the other hand, white truffles usually have a stronger aroma as compared to the black form. For this reason, the edible white fungi are often eaten raw by shaving it over a freshly cooked dish such as risotto.
- The truffle business in Australia and where to get fresh truffles
Australia is currently a leading producer of truffles. Australia harvest roughly 20,000 Kgs in a single year. There are also approximately 160 farms where the truffles are cultivated across Australia.
About 75% of the total truffle produced in Australia is for foreign export; the rest is supplied to the local truffle market.
If you wish to try a truffle dish and can't access a local truffle seller, here is a list of Australian restaurants that serve truffles.
Many individuals don't know about truffles and often think of them as a confectionary product. In truth, the truffles can also refer to a certain group of edible fungi with a strong aroma and a delicious flavor. Truffles can be served with different dishes, for instance, pasta. You can also eat it raw.