Truffle mushrooms aka “The black diamond of the kitchen” are an edible fungi that grow underground with the roots of certain trees, such as oak, hazel, and beech. They are highly coveted for their unique and intense aroma and flavour. Truffles have a rough, irregular shape and a dark exterior, while the interior is marbled with white or black veins.
Many cuisines consider truffles a delicacy and as such, are often used sparingly as a garnish or flavour enhancer. They may be shaved onto dishes such as pasta, vegetables or risotto, mixed into sauces or made into an oil and drizzled on top of proteins or pizza!
Truffle grows very slowly and truffle hunting season is short! Harvesting them is a labor-intensive process that involves carefully digging them out of the ground without damaging them. Therefore, truffle hunting ends up being a specialized skill in which dogs or pigs are trained to sniff truffles out.
Adding to their high price tag and rarity, truffles have a short shelf life and can lose their aroma and flavour quickly. They need to be consumed fresh, which means they must be transported quickly and handled with care.
Luckily for truffle lovers, they grow all over the world, but majority of truffles can be found in Mediterranean Europe, western North America and Australia.