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#truffles4dummies

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Truffles?


Truffles have always been revered and date as far back as 1600 B.C. These special funghi are known as the “diamonds of the earth.”
There are about 200 species of truffles. The most revered truffles are the Aestivum Vitt, Uncinatum, Magnatum Pico, and Melanosporum. Truffles follow the binomial system to best determine the species. These truffles are found in France, Italy, and Spain.
The White Truffle is found only in Italy.
Truffles are ectomycorrihzal fungi. They live in a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship with the roots of certain living trees. Most common trees that form truffles: Oak, Hazelnut, and Poplar.
 

When do they grow?

This classification of global truffle species includes all the
truffles of culinary and economic importance.
Black Summer Truffles (Tuber Aestivum) - $$
May-September
Burgundy Truffles (Tuber Uncinatum)- $$
September-November
Black Winter Truffles (Tuber Melanosporum Vitt) - $$$
November-March
White Truffles (Tuber Magnatum)  - $$$$
October-December

How do I find Truffles?


Truffles are difficult to find and very expensive as a result! In Europe, most truffles are collected in France and Italy.
Truffle hunters in Italy and France use mixed-breed dogs to sniff out truffles.
In Italy, truffle dogs are trained in several steps. First, the dog is taught to retrieve a rubber ball. Next, a small bit of smelly Gorgonzola cheese is substituted for the rubber ball. After the dog has learned to retrieve the cheese, the cheese is hidden, forcing the dog to sniff it out for a reward of food. Finally, a small truffle is substituted for the cheese. The dog is trained to fetch, then dig up the truffle.

How long do Truffles last?


Truffles are living organisms. They have a short shelf life. It is best to consume immediately. The Black Summer, Burgundy, and Black Winter have a longer shelf life (5-7 days) than the White Truffle (2-3 days).

 

What do Truffles pair well with?


Truffles go well with everything, such as seafood, meats, eggs, pasta, risotto, potatoes, and cream sauces. They best pair with dishes that are more subtle in flavor, to be able to pick up on the special truffle flavor.

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