Do you know what is considered to be the most luxurious and legendary ingredient in the culinary arts? The ingredient is the truffle. I am not talking about the bite-sized chocolate balls you see in shops. You can see this ingredient only in high-end restaurants with linen cloths, tuxedos, and fine china sets. Truffles are expensive. You would definitely want to know more about truffles and the answers to the questions like what is the most expensive truffle in the world, what is black truffle and what is a truffle mushroom. Continue reading this article to know about all of them.
1. What is a Truffle Mushroom?
- Truffles are a part of the edible fungus family Tuberaceae.
- Truffles are sponges, the sprout producing part of this fungus family.
- This fungus which grows underground, cannot be cultivated or grown everywhere. They are usually taken from the roots of damp forest trees.
Yartsa Gunbu is the most expensive mushroom costing $50,000 per pound or $2000 per ounce. This mushroom cannot be cultivated in a controlled environment as this grows out of a dead caterpillar. From this, you can understand how rare this truffle is. These mushrooms are aphrodisiacs and are considered to have medicinal benefits as well. The size of these mushrooms varies from small-sized balls to the size of a human fist. If they are just fungi, then why they are expensive, and what is the most expensive truffle? (Also read What is a Toadstool?)
2. What does a Truffle taste like?
The overall basic flavour and aroma of truffles can be called musky, nutty, earthy, and slightly garlicky. But the dominant taste and aroma differ with the type of truffles. For example, black truffle is associated with a chocolatey flavour and white truffles with the pungent taste of shallots. (See 12 Best Keto Starbucks Drinks and Food Options)
3. Where do Truffles Grow?
Truffles cannot be cultivated in a laboratory or planted commercially. They can be grown in certain places with specific conditions. Also, they form a symbiotic relationship with specific trees such as pine, oak, beech, hazel, etc. Hence you can find truffles in the roots of these trees. (See How to Make a Sunflower Garden?)
4. Why Truffles are Popular?
Truffles are known for their rich aroma and flavour. This type of fungus is expensive as they are rare, difficult to find, and most importantly they cannot be stored for a long time as they lose their smell and flavour once they are harvested.
Pigs and dogs are trained to find the source of the truffles. Even though pigs spot these truffles accurately, they tend to eat most of what they find. But dogs are specially trained to find truffles. It is luxurious because it is not something that can be found easily in the forests. (See 34 medicinal plants worth your garden space)
5. Which Countries produce Truffles?
Many truffles recipes are popular in places having Mediterranean climates. Mostly the valuable species of truffles are found in Mediterranean European countries like Italy, France, Australia, Croatia, China, and Western North America. (See What do People Eat in China?)
6. What are the Different Types of Truffles?
There are several types of truffles. Some of the famous truffles are
- Perigord truffle or black truffle of South France
- Piedmont truffle or white truffle of Italy
- Chinese Black truffle of China
- Mid-Eastern terfez of the Middle East and North Africa
- Burgundy truffle or Summer truffle of France, Italy, and Spain
- Whitish truffle of Tuscany
- Garlic truffles of Central Italy
- Pecan truffle of Southern U.S.
The Piedmont truffle is the rarest of truffles and has the strongest aroma of all. The black and white truffles are further classified as winter black truffle, summer black truffle, winter white truffle, and summer white truffle respectively based on the period it is grown. (See Types of Trees with Purple Flowers)
7. What is Black Truffle?
Tuber melanosporum or black truffle is a type of truffle which is easier to find than white truffles. During cultivation, they need to be protected from extreme conditions as they can be easily damaged. Their growing period is relatively short and usually grows from September to December. These truffles are found in countries like France, Spain, Slovenia, and Croatia. (See Hydroponics: Plants That Grow In Water Only)
8. What is White Truffle?
Also known as the truffle of the white mother, this truffle is less common than the other truffles. These are found in Italy and Croatia. The growth of this truffle type needs calcareous soil and a temperate climate. This truffle can be found in the roots of oak, beech, and hazel trees. They usually grow from the start of December to the end of January.
9. Why are Truffles so Expensive?
Truffles are rare and very much sought after by chefs for the flavour and taste it adds to the food. A few shavings of this fungus will elevate the taste of a dish to a whole other level. The reasons why truffles are so expensive are their seasonal growth, very less produce, and difficulty in cultivation. Since the demand for this fungus species is higher than the supply, these truffles are expensive. (See What is the History of Waffles?)
10. What is the Most Expensive Truffle?
Now that you got an idea about what is truffle, their growth, and their types, let’s address your question of what is the most expensive truffle. The European white truffles, despite being common are notoriously hard to find. These truffles are the most expensive and rarest of all. Till today, no one has found how to cultivate this and hence its price remains high still. This truffle is the second most expensive truffle with the price ranging between $1000 to $4000 per pound. (See What Everybody Ought to Know About Medicinal Uses of General Spices)
So, today in this article you got to know about what is the most expensive truffle and what is black and white truffle. If you want to elevate the taste of your dish on a special occasion and can spend well, you can go for this rare and luxurious ingredient to add to your recipe. Even a few shavings of truffles will take your dish to a next level of culinary bliss. So, what are you even waiting for? Go and become a Masterchef! (See Features and Types of Bale)