A truffle in the West sometimes refers to chocolates (which we love!) but in France, truffles are edible underground highly sought after fungi. Truffles are round, warty, and irregular in shape and vary from the size of a walnut to that of a man’s fist. And develop thanks to a symbiotic relationship with the trees to whose roots they cling.They draw water to the trees and, in return, take nutrients from them as they grow. For the truffle to flourish, so must the tree.
Believed to be an aphrodisiac, they are a favourite food in France. They are cultivated by men called trufficulteurs, who use trained pigs or dogs to hunted by smell alone for the truffles, which smell like walnuts or sunflower seeds. Since the times of the Greeks and Romans these fungi have been used in Europe as delicacies, as aphrodisiacs, and as medicines. They are among the most expensive of the world’s natural foods, often commanding as much as $250 to $450 per pound! French gourmand Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin called truffles ʺthe diamond of the kitchenʺ. The aroma and flavour of truffles are heat sensitive. Truffle butter is a good way to get the most from your aromatic gem since it is not heated. Finely grate a fresh truffle and add to softened unsalted butter in proportions to suit your taste. Use enough butter so that the mixture is spreadable and not crumbly. Let stand at room temperature for an hour. Spread on crackers,French bread, or baked potatoes. Truffle butter freezes well.
There are few culinary experiences that can match the taste of a fresh white or black truffle. They are very versatile and can be used in many dishes, though they are at their best when allowed to shine without being smothered by other flavours. Our favourite is for them to be used over a dish of fresh pasta or even just with some simple, creamy scrambled eggs. #SourceOfInspiration