No doubt you have seen truffles on restaurant menus or you have truffle recipes which call for shaved truffles, truffle salt or truffle oil. Maybe you have even cooked with truffles but are still not entirely sure of the origins of this funny-looking, yet ultra gourmet food. Truffles are fungi which are similar to mushrooms but grow entirely underground. They grow from the roots of various plants, usually trees.
Truffles are most famously associated with French and Italian haute cuisine. Referred to as “diamonds of the kitchen,” truffles are, pound-for-pound, one of the highest priced foods on earth. A few years back, a 3.3 pound white truffle sold in auction for $330,000 U.S. dollars!
The most prized quality of the truffle is its aroma. The more pungent the smell, the more flavorful and valuable the truffle is likely to be. There are many different types of truffles: black, white, summer, winter, imported and cultivated; only a few of these are considered supreme delicacies.