Truffles: An Expensive Delicacy

Truffles: An Expensive DelicacyTruffles are a subterranean fungi that flourish via a symbiotic relationship with the roots of certain trees, e.g., beech, hazel, oak, etc. They are not mushrooms which are a completely different fungi.

In the early Eastern civilizations, mushrooms and fungi are not only considered as food, they are also noted for the medicinal value. Until now, there are cultures which would still use mushroom extracts as a component for soups and teas in order to boost the immune system. They are also said to reduce the risks of cancer and heart diseases.


They are low in calories but contain high amount of vegetable protein, chitin, iron, zinc, fiber, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Calcium, minerals, vitamins B and C are commonly found in several mushrooms. Truffles are different from other mushrooms since it is a hypogean or an underground mushroom. What is harvested is the fruit, the roots are white filaments called as hyphas, and there is not stem. Truffles would suck sap from the host plant or trees. Those truffles that grow under the roots of oak trees are the most pungent, while those that grow in the roots of lime trees are the most aromatic.

The flavours found on a truffle is complex, which is why they are best combined with bland food in order to draw out its flavour. They are highly perishable, which is why it is important for truffles to be consumed immediately after harvesting. Often times, truffles are sold in containers filled with rice. This rice has definitely absorbed parts of the flavour and aroma of the fungi and could be used for cooking. 


Earlier it was thought that edible mushrooms like truffles had no nutritional value at all and were used just to add flavor to a selection of staple dishes. Yet, more recent reports show that truffles and various sorts of mushrooms can bring a great deal of health benefits especially to vegetarians, individuals who don't eat meat and only consume vegetables.

Technically, truffles are mushrooms that don't have stems and are usually discovered under the ground-usually under oak, pine, beech, and pecan trees mostly in Europe including various parts of Italy, France, Slovenia and Croatia. In Asia, some varieties are located in China along with in Middle East while there are also some types native to North Africa.


So far, truffles are used only in the culinary field-as main ingredient to various dishes or as flavoring and garnishes to different specialties. The most frequent gourmet edible truffles that are being employed in various restaurants include the French Black Truffles, the Italian White Truffles, the Chinese Truffles, and the Summer Truffles. The white truffle of Alba is the most cherished, elusive, and expensive of all. It's sublime aroma and taste is unparalleled. 

Health Benefits of Truffles
  1. Truffles: An Expensive DelicacyA good source of high protein. Truffles have high protein content ranging from 20 to 30 percent for each serving. Experts say that truffles are excellent sources of high protein content which it very ideal because these contain all the amino acids necessary to good nutrition for humans. For people who don't consume fats and carbohydrates- specially to people who are having Western diets-truffles are very ideal since it is a fantastic source of protein.

  2. A moderate source of carbs. The main element of truffles and mushrooms is carbohydrates derived from glycogen and chitin or also called the fungus cellulose which is a functional proponents of the fungal cell wall. All the same, compared to other vegetables, truffles have lower proportions of carbohydrates. This is in addition very good for people suffering from diabetes because truffles have low value of energy.

  3. Low in fat. As a vegetable, truffles are ideal for individuals who cannot and do not want to consume too much fat. When dried, it has only about two to eight percent of fat which are mostly crude fat and lipid compounds such as fatty acids, sterols, phospholipids, glycerides and linoleic acid. However, it should be taken into consideration that although mushroom and truffles have no cholesterol and low in fat, the method of cooking them would usually require them to be infused with butter or oil. Thus, adding to the fatty value of the dish. It would then be safe to say, that although vegetables, mushrooms and fungi are healthy, the method of cooking and preparing it would have a huge impact on the nutritional value of the dish.

  1. It is cholesterol free. This is probably the largest benefit to health of truffles. Through the years, cholesterol has been thought to be of the risk aspects of coronary heart conditions and other associated diseases. If you are inclined to stroke or heart attack or you have a family history any heart complaint, it would be great to consume cholesterol free food such as truffles to help you decrease your total cholesterol levels.

  2. High in water and mineral content. They are made up 73% water, and several substances and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium.

French Black Perigord Truffles are some of the most sought after mushrooms in the world. However, they are very expensive (upwards to $3,000 a pound). They have even been referred to as "the diamond of the kitchen".

5. The main reason for these mushrooms is the flavor. The flavor of these mushrooms is like no other and is wanted all over the world. You can find Truffle Oil and Truffle Vodka, however, most truffle oils do not actually contain truffles and truffles weren't even used in making the oil. They have synthesized the flavor of the truffles and made it that way.

So if you are really wanting to true thing, it is best to purchase the mushroom itself.


Dated 23 February 2013


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