Truffles are basically a very rare and expensive, underground mushrooms. They are a fancy, delicious delicacy – some say an aphrodisiac – and, ounce for ounce, the most expensive food in the world. French and Italian truffles are becoming scarce. They’re being trafficked and threatened by inferior imports from China. The white ones are usually more aromatic than black truffles, with hints of garlic-shallot flavor with a musky aroma. Black truffles are earthier in flavors. There is also a difference between, summer and winter truffles. White truffle’s aroma is intense, but it tends to fade pretty quickly. Black truffles, which are more subtle, have a longer longevity in the dish.
At KoF we think that white truffles are best utilized raw, while black truffles are best cooked. Truffles can only grow in very specific conditions. Unlike other mushrooms that grow on dead logs or in the soil, truffles need a live plant to grow in a relationship. The truffles get sugars from the roots of the tree and in return the truffles provide nutrients from the soil to their tree partner. Truffles only grow on certain types of trees, including oak, hazel, poplar, beech and pine.
If you don’t want to use fresh truffles in your cooking or you cannot find them, you can purchase a good truffle oil. This will not be the same, but truffle oil is fun to use on occasion.