The jewel of French cooking

An edible form of fungi that is far more expensive than the average mushroom, the truffle is a coveted delicacy. The fruiting body of an underground mushroom, both black and white truffles are among the most expensive food in the world.
Truffles originated in Europe and the fine art of their cultivation is now practised in a number of countries. France is the largest producer of truffles, although numbers have decreased there in recent years. Using a method that has remained the same for hundreds of years, truffle hunting is typically carried out by specially-trained pigs called ‘truffle hogs’. More recently, dogs have also been used.
Perigord Truffles of Tasmania, which has a team of highly-trained truffle dogs, grows French black truffles and exports them to restaurants across Australia where they are used to flavour a multitude of dishes including pasta, meats and salads. The company also sells packaged products containing truffles, including truffle honey and truffle salt for $19 and $15 respectively: each containing just a few grams of the prized fungus.
French black truffles are widely considered to be the jewel of French cooking and, according to Perigord, the ancient Greeks and Romans attributed therapeutic and aphrodisiac powers to this particular species. Forming a symbiotic relationship with the roots of an oak or hazel tree, the edible portion of the fungi (the truffle) is harvested in winter, once it has matured. Truffles vary from 2cm in diameter to the size of a grapefruit, and have a fresh shelf life of just three weeks.

One Response to The jewel of French cooking

  1. Anastácia

    April 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    looking forward to another great article.

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