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Ultimate Guide on How to Use Truffles


Real truffles are very popular all around the world. Truffles have a strong earthy and mushroomy, umami taste and a strong earthy, woody, and slightly nutty aroma. A wide variety of dishes are prepared from truffles, which are considered delicacies and are very expensive. 

You can cook a large number of different dishes with a truffle. So, what do you do with a truffle? How do you use truffles? Truffles can be salted, mixed with fruits, meat, and vegetables, added to salads, and used to make delicious sauces and gravy. Truffles go well with apples, caviar, snails, seafood, and eggs.

Also, these mushrooms can be served as an independent dish. In this case, some delicious sauce must be served with the truffles. Truffles in champagne are recognized as an original dish. Sometimes these mushrooms are used as fillings for pies and rolls. When preparing these mushrooms, it is necessary to use only high-quality and expensive products.

Do you wash truffles? Truffles should not be washed because moisture will make the truffle rot. Truffles should be cleaned with a stiff brush. The brush should be dry and then slightly damp. Truffles should be cleaned just before cooking.

Truffle tubers are brought to restaurants unpeeled and unwashed. In a restaurant, they are subjected to dry processing, gently sweeping away the sand with a brush, and placed in a refrigerator. There they are stored at a temperature of + 2–3 ° С for 2–3 days in a sealed container, wrapped in a paper towel, or sprinkled with rice. The disadvantage of the second method is that, together with moisture destructive to the fungus, the grains absorb the aroma no less intensively.

See also: In-Depth Research on How to Find Truffles

Truffles can also be frozen or vacuum-sealed for easy storage. Frozen truffles are usually stored at a temperature not exceeding –15 ° С for 1 year from the date indicated on the package. They need to be removed from the freezer and thawed until they can be cut. Complete defrosting will occur during the cooking process.

Truffles and Cooking

What are truffles used for in cooking? Truffles are most often added to risotto, pasta, eggs, poultry, and lobsters. Truffles can also be served with fruit and pies. Truffles go well with other expensive delicacies like black caviar and escargot. Truffles also go well with white and red wine and champagne.

What is the best way to eat truffles? The best way to eat white and black truffles is with fried or baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, pasta, and risotto. The truffle can be added to carpaccio, grated on an omelet or scrambled eggs, or put on foie gras. A more sophisticated use is truffle-mushroom ravioli or truffle-cheese ravioli. Or, for example, you can try making one of Paul Bocuse’s classic soups with boiled meat, foie gras, and truffle. In other words, the presence of this product in the kitchen opens up a wide field for experimentation.

Where else do you use truffles? In Italy, they make elite cosmetics from truffles, which make it possible to moisturize the skin, remove wrinkles, restore youth, and get rid of existing age spots. In some countries of the East, the juice obtained from truffles is used to improve vision and prevent eye diseases.

See also: Ultimate Guide on How to Store Fresh Truffles

How to Serve Truffles

  • Since the truffle itself is quite expensive, it is rarely eaten alone. If this is done, then the mushroom is served in combination with various sauces that emphasize the unsurpassed taste.
  • Truffles are also added to dishes to give them an expressive truffle aroma.
  • You can sprinkle black caviar and other rather expensive dishes with shavings from these marsupial mushrooms.
  • Truffles can be served in champagne. This is the most sophisticated option for preparing a marsupial mushroom.
  • Truffles can be served with ham and other types of meat, as well as with fruits. It is a kind of versatile ingredient that complements any dish with its taste and aroma.
  • The truffle can be eaten raw, stewed, baked, or steamed.

Choosing and Buying Truffles

Unfortunately, truffles do not last long. You can only enjoy fresh truffles during the harvesting season (October-January), but at other times of the year, you can get canned or jarred truffles.

Buying fresh truffles is not easy – most often, you can enjoy them at restaurants that buy truffles from their suppliers. It is not common to find truffles in the supermarket, but it depends. You can, however, buy fresh truffles from vegetable markets when they are in season.

If you want to try the freshest truffles ever and are feeling adventurous, you can try your luck finding truffles in Italy or France. Meanwhile, check out our In-Depth Research on How to Find Truffles.

For long-term storage, truffles can be preserved (canned or jarred) or frozen. Please note that frozen truffles will not be as aromatic. Truffles are often placed in olive oil to keep them fresh for longer.

See also: How Do You Eat Truffles? What Goes Well with Truffles?

A good, fresh truffle produces a strong and rich aroma. Visually identify a few truffles for yourself, and then close your eyes and smell them. You can safely take a mushroom with a complex aroma, and if you feel benzene notes in it, do not buy it.

Experts use their fingers to evaluate the inside of the fungus without cutting it. Take the mushroom in your hand and lightly press on it. Do not squeeze it, otherwise, it will darken like an apple. The truffle should be soft to the touch. If it is dry, it means that the mushroom is old.

Fresh mushrooms contain a lot of moisture, so the weight of even a small mushroom should be very significant. If the range of choice has narrowed to two mushrooms, it is enough to estimate their weight offhand by taking the truffles in different hands. The heavier a truffle, the more moisture it contains, which means that it is fresher (a truffle loses up to 1 gram of moisture every day).

As you know, insects choose only the best fruits for themselves. Small holes left by mollusks in the mushroom indicate not defectiveness but the quality of the mushroom.

See also: Are Truffles Worth the Money?

Since the truffle grows below the surface, there are always lumps of soil on it. The soil helps keep the mushroom fresh but, at the same time, adds weight to it. Enterprising sellers sometimes go for the trick and save a little more land on a truffle than is needed to extend its life. If it seems to you that they are trying to sell you a piece of soil, do not hesitate and ask to clean the ground before weighing.

The truffle is wrapped in soft paper, placed in a container, and placed in the refrigerator. The paper should be changed every day. In such conditions, the mushroom can be stored for up to 2 weeks. It is better not to wait until the critical moment and enjoy the incomparable taste of truffle by adding it to the dish.

What Is a Truffle and Where Does It Come From?


Truffle is a mushroom that grows underground at a depth of 20 cm. It is not only the most expensive mushroom in the world but also a delicacy that is difficult to get. In shape, the truffle resembles a potato tuber, its flesh is reddish, it turns black towards maturity. There are about a hundred species of these mushrooms, but the Perigord black truffle, Italian, and winter truffles received the highest rating and recognition of gourmets due to their unique “truffle” aroma. 

Where do truffles grow best? Truffles grow best in the USA, Spain, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK. Now China has become the largest truffle producer in the world. Truffles are found in Spain, Serbia, Albania, Hungary, Australia, and other countries. The geography is now very wide, not just France or Italy.

Truffle mushrooms grow underground in small groups, in which there are from 3 to 7 fruiting bodies with a gristly or fleshy consistency. The distribution area of ​​truffles is very extensive: this delicacy is harvested in deciduous and coniferous forests of Europe and Asia, North Africa, and the United States of America.

50% of the world’s truffle crop is eaten in France. And the largest supplier in the world is China, where truffles are grown artificially.

What tree do truffles grow under? Truffle is a hypogenic tuber-shaped mushroom (living underground) that can only grow near the roots of special trees, including hazel, oak, poplar, beech, and hornbeam. 

Summer black truffle prefers deciduous or mixed forests and calcareous soils of Central Europe, Scandinavian countries, the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, Ukraine, as well as certain regions of Central Asia.

The winter truffle grows not only in the groves of Switzerland and France but also in mountain forests. The fruit bodies of the white Moroccan truffle can be found in the forests along the Mediterranean and North African coastlines. This truffle mushroom grows near the roots of cedar, oak, and pine.

What time of year do you find truffles? You can find truffles from late autumn to early winter. The season of white truffle collecting lasts from October to December, and of black from November to March. Piedmont white truffle harvesting officially starts on September 21st and ends on January 31st. Mostly in Italy, mushrooms start to be collected in October. These mushrooms are harvested only with the help of trained dogs, and pigs are not allowed.

Truffle Growing Conditions 

What conditions do truffles grow in? Truffle grows in the conditions of clay-calcium soil. Truffles need good drainage because excessive moisture may make truffles rot. The required pH level for the soil is 7.5. The temperature should not drop below 10-15 degrees, otherwise, the truffle freezes to ice since it consists of 80% water. 

White truffles are a true delicacy as they are so hard to find! White truffles only grow in moist, calcium-rich soils that are located in close proximity to water. White truffles also like clayey soils and a moderately humid climates.

How long do truffles take to grow?  Truffles usually take 6-8 months to grow. How deep in the ground are truffles? The truffle begins to grow underground, reaches 20-30 cm, and only after that, it appears on the surface, after which it needs several more months to ripen. For example, a winter black truffle makes its way to the surface in March and is fully grown by November. 

How many truffles can one tree produce? Up to a thousand mushrooms can grow under one tree, but over time, only 3-4 remain. However, the mycelium will take 10-15 years to sprout. Another condition is the presence of the right neighbor – truffles grow under trees, or rather on their roots, and choose only certain species as their home: oak, birch, hazel, beech. By the way, not all types of truffles can be cultivated. The white truffle from Alba grows by itself and is impossible to grow.

Did you know that truffles are 80% water? In addition to that, truffles have around 15% of fiber and cellulose, 3% protein, and only 0.01% of essential oils that give white truffles its unique earthy aroma.

In 100 g of truffles, there are only 31 kcal, 4.5 g of protein, 2 g of fat, 0.3 g of carbohydrates, and 8 g of fiber.

But why are truffles so special? Truffles have almost a neutral taste. It is a truffle’s aroma that makes it so special. The truffle contains vegetable proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins of group B, PP, and C, various minerals, antioxidants, pheromones that help to improve the emotional state of a person, and a large amount of fiber. 

The unique culinary properties of truffles have long been known. They are suitable both for making pies, sauces, and pie fillings and as an addition to poultry and seafood dishes. Sometimes they can be served as a separate dish. Truffles can be harvested for future use by freezing or canning in high-quality cognac. 

There are no special contraindications for eating these mushrooms, the main condition is the freshness of the mushroom and the absence of allergic reactions to penicillin in humans.

Types of Truffles

Did you know that there are over 60 truffle varieties but only 9 are considered edible? Interestingly enough, out of all know truffle varieties, 34 are found in Europe, 25 of which come from Italy! So if you feel like trying your luck finding this rare delicacy, you know where to book tickets.

Also, truffles are divided according to the season: summer, autumn, winter. Seasonality strongly affects the aroma and taste, the palette of which changes from lighter in summer varieties to rich in winter ones. Of course, the more fragrant mushrooms are the more expensive ones.

The richest, and therefore the most expensive, is the white Italian truffle Alba from Piedmont. It costs 4,000 euros per kilogram. All forty-two types of truffles are edible, but not all are distinguished by some outstanding flavor characteristics. 

Truffles can be found even in the sands of the Arabian Maghreb, only these mushrooms will not be remarkable in any way. There they are fried in vegetable oil and eaten as if they were potatoes. In Morocco, for example, they sell roasted truffles in bags along the roads, which can be eaten like roasted chestnuts.

Ultimate Guide on How to Store Fresh Truffles


It is necessary to store the truffle correctly since you can understand its real taste only if it is fresh. The fruit body has an exquisite, unique, and rich flavor that is highly valued by gourmets all over the world.

How do you store fresh truffles? Truffles are expensive, so it’s important to be able to store them properly. The truffles must remain dry during storage. How do you pack a truffle? Wrap them in a paper towel, place them in an airtight container or jar with a lid, and store them in the refrigerator.  To prevent it from rotting, a piece of cloth is changed every two days. You can also wrap each fruit in a soft paper that is replaced daily.

Can truffles go bad? Yes, truffles can go bad. Truffles will go bad if they are subject to excessive moisture or if you do not change the paper towel that covers truffles in the fridge. 

How to Store Fresh Truffles — Ultimate Guide 

How long can truffles stay at room temperature? Truffles can stay for up to 5 days at room temperature. That is why you need to store truffles in a fridge. Wrap truffles in a cloth, place it in an airtight container and put it in the fridge. Fresh truffles should preferably be consumed within three days. Do not wash truffles if you want to keep them fresh longer. 

The shelf life of the truffle depends on the temperature and storage conditions. So, yes, truffles can go bad if they are subject to excess moisture. Dry cloth or paper can increase the truffle storage time up to 30 days.

Do you refrigerate truffles? To keep truffles fresh longer, you should refrigerate them. You can store truffles in the refrigerator in the vegetable drawer or another cool place.

How long can you store fresh truffles? You can store a truffle in the refrigerator for no more than 10 days, but with the right approach, the shelf life can be easily increased to one month. But you should not postpone cooking truffles because even if all recommendations are followed, the mushrooms quickly deteriorate.

Storing Truffles In Rice

How do you store truffles in rice? To preserve the unique taste of truffles, put them in a non-transparent container, and put rice on them. Close the container and put it in the darkest place in the fridge. Truffles can be stored for up to 30 days in these conditions. Rice will absorb some of the truffle’s aroma and will taste delicious, too. So, do not throw this rice away. 

Storing Truffles in Oil

How do you store truffles in oil? Instead of rice, you can use olive oil, which absorbs mushroom juice and the aroma. Wash the truffles before putting them in olive oil. Place truffles in a container and put them in the fridge. How long do truffles last in oil? In oil, truffles will last up to 30 days if stored in the refrigerator. 

Freezing Truffles

Can I freeze truffles? Yes, you can freeze truffles. The fruit body of the truffle will retain its taste and nutritional qualities when frozen. Wrap each truffle in foil and put them in the freezer at a temperature of -10° -15 °C. Defrost at room temperature before use.

It is undesirable to freeze sauces or dishes prepared with truffles. Meanwhile, freezing is suitable for butter that contains truffles.

Many culinary specialists prefer to cover the mushrooms with sand, which must be covered with a damp cloth. Then close with a lid. Thus, the shelf life is increased to one month.

Another proven method of truffle storing is canning. Place truffles in a glass container, and add alcohol. The liquid should lightly coat the mushrooms. It is not recommended to store such truffles for more than two years, otherwise, alcohol will take away all the aroma and taste of the truffle. Do not get rid of the alcohol later as it can be used to cook aromatic sauces or added to meat and fish dishes. 

Sterilization is best avoided (a method of killing microorganisms by exposure to high temperatures), as this can destroy the truffle aroma. You should also avoid cooking truffle dishes that require high temperatures, in particular above 80 ° C.

That said, the shelf life of fresh truffles is not long. To feel the full uniqueness of the aroma, they need to be eaten in a couple of days or even hours after collection. That is why, with the beginning of the season, true connoisseurs and restaurants are trying to get these mushrooms very quickly. 

But people have found a way to store this delicacy. Storage in rice allows you to make delicious risotto from it in the future. Storage in oil makes it unique and aromatic. Also, truffles can be frozen.

To preserve the truffle longer, it is better to put it in the fridge or freeze it. Sometimes, during transportation, truffles are covered with rice or placed in olive oil, which makes it possible to keep the mushrooms fresh for longer.

Be very careful when cooking truffles, as prolonged cooking can eliminate all special nutritional properties of truffles. Most often, truffles are eaten raw, but they can also be pre-processed. It is very important to remember that a truffle can be stored for 4 days, while it must be in an airtight closed container in the refrigerator. 

Experienced experts recommend storing the mushroom in a form peeled from the ground and placed in rice, which will prevent the mushrooms from drying out or excessively moisturizing.

How Do You Dry Truffles?

The best way to handle truffles when storing them for the winter is to dry them. Dehydrated mushroom completely retains their taste, and when soaked, it will become almost like fresh.

How do you dry truffles? To dry truffles properly, follow these steps:

  • Slice the truffles into thin slices.
  • Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet or a wire rack. The slices should not touch.
  • Preheat the oven to 40-50°С. Place a baking sheet or rack with mushrooms in it.
  • When the mushrooms begin to dry out noticeably, increase the heat to 60–75°C.
  • Watch until the mushrooms are ready.

Do not wash truffles before drying, otherwise, they will be saturated with water and may rot. Slice the truffles so that the slices would not exceed 0.5 cm. 

If necessary, soak dried truffles in clean water for 1-2 hours, thoroughly wash from the soil, and prepare according to the recipe. Truffles can be fried, added to side dishes, to pasta, to an omelet, or to a steak. They are also prepared as a separate dish, for example, “Truffles in Champagne”. 

A couple of pieces can be put in a bottle of vegetable oil, then any dish made with this oil will acquire a delicate mushroom aroma. And if you grind dry mushrooms on a coffee grinder, they will make an excellent sauce.

Storing Fried Truffles

  • Rinse truffles thoroughly, preferably with a brush.
  • Cut into cubes and place in a dry skillet. After a couple of minutes, the slices will start to juice. Stir them over low heat, and when the juice evaporates, add olive oil or ghee. Fry for 20 minutes, and add salt at the end of the process.
  • Transfer immediately to hot sterilized jars. A layer of oil of at least 1 cm should remain on top of the mushrooms.
  • Roll up the jars and sterilize for at least an hour.

How Do You Eat Truffles? What Goes Well with Truffles?


Truffle is a valuable, expensive delicacy for which some people are ready to pay even thousands of dollars. The very name “truffle” sounds exquisite and luxurious. What is a truffle, and what is its attractive power? How do you eat truffles, and what goes well with them?

Such a rare delicacy as truffle, in Italian Tartufo, is found in Italy, for example, in the regions of Piedmont and Umbria. In Italy, it is considered a gourmet dish and is commonly used to flavor dishes such as risotto and pasta. Truffle goes well with eggs, it is also used in the form of a cream, spread on toast and bread. 

What goes well with truffles? Truffle goes well with such simple dishes as fried or baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, pasta, and risotto. Truffle can be added to carpaccio, grated on an omelet or scrambled eggs, or put on foie gras. A more sophisticated way to add truffle to the boiled meat (beef, pork), or fish (salmon, bass). Truffles are versatile in use and can decorate almost any meal.

Truffle is a “self-sufficient” mushroom. You do not need to grate truffles onto caviar. The simpler the base dish, the better the taste. The aroma of white precious truffle is especially enhanced on plain scrambled eggs.

Therefore, the classic combinations of foods that go with truffles are:

  • Bruschetta (just a toasted slice of bread drizzled with good olive oil with grated truffle on top);
  • Mashed potatoes;
  • Scrambled eggs or omelet;
  • Pasta;
  • Risotto;
  • Raw beef carpaccio;
  • Raw beef tartare;
  • Fried veal;
  • Fondue

What goes well with white truffles? Serve raw white truffles with pasta dishes, eggs, and with hot and cold dishes. A white truffle goes well with dry-cured ham, smoked sausage, and pâté.

What goes well with black truffles? Black truffles can be mixed with soft cheese and served with bread. Black truffle goes well with red meat dishes or salads. Also, the mushroom is added to sauces to add flavor.

Generally speaking, the truffle goes well with everything. However, it still wins in dishes of “passive taste” made from products that do not have a distinct taste of their own. So, according to the French, all truffle recipes should be prepared based on eggs (omelets, beaten eggs, soufflé with truffles). Truffles also go well with poultry dishes, some seafood, or sauces. 

Can you eat a raw truffle? Yes, you can eat raw truffles if it is a white truffle. You should eat white truffles raw because the truffle has a strong aroma with a light garlic tone that fades when cooked. Black truffles can also be eaten raw, but it is still better to cook them with meat or add them to sauces. Black truffle needs to be cooked to fully develop its taste and aroma.

Slices of raw truffles are often placed under the skin of a bird (chicken, for example) and left in the refrigerator overnight — the aroma of the finished fried dish will be unusually good. These delicious mushrooms successfully complement meat dishes, fish dishes, salads, and sauces and even make a wonderful alliance with desserts. 

Truffles with cheese are also good. What cheese goes well with truffles? Perigord chefs often simply mix black truffles with Cabécou goat cheese. Parmesan cheese also goes well with truffles. 

What meat goes well with truffles? Any meat goes well with truffles, however, chefs highlight that raw beef, and fried veal is perfect for truffles. Truffles are served with capon, veal, and sometimes langoustines, cooked in Asti wine, sprinkled with parmesan, and seasoned with lemon-based vinaigrette sauce. A sauce made with white Piedmont truffles, butter, cream, garlic, and anchovies is seasoned with spaghetti or boiled vegetables, which are served cold.

Truffles are used as a decoration for grilled meat and chicken or risotto. After you clean off the ground from the fresh mushroom and then scold subtly right into the pot with steaming cheese fondue, the surprise will be replaced by equally sincere admiration, especially if the meal is accompanied by a glass or two of Dolcetto d’Alba. Fondue is a classic dish of the Vale d’Aosta region, but its amazing ability to magically combine with white truffles made the dish incredibly popular in neighboring Piedmont.

White truffles from Piedmont are an unsurpassed gastronomic pleasure. In Bologna, truffles are prepared like this: After moistening and cleaning the mushrooms, they are finely chopped, parmesan is also thinly sliced ​​and placed in a tin-plated copper pan, seasoned with salt, pepper, the finest olive oil, the traditional Modena balsamic vinegar of 100 years old and put on fire. As soon as the stew begins to boil, squeeze a lemon and immediately remove it from the heat. 

The white truffle is easy to prepare: you just need to grate it on top of a dish that is already ready. White truffle goes well with homemade classic pasta such as thin tagliolini pasta, poached eggs, parmesan sauce, potatoes, veal, and beef. For example, here’s a great combination: filet mignon, port wine sauce, foie gras, and white truffle. It works great with cheeses and vegetables such as asparagus. It is very good, together with corn salad leaves.

Black truffle has a slightly weaker aroma, but only when it is raw. But the taste and aroma open up after heat treatment. The types of black truffles also differ in the intensity of aroma, also, they differ slightly in taste. For example, the aroma of the black truffle, whose season starts in mid-May and lasts until September, resembles a porcini mushroom.

Black truffle is ideal for sauces. For example, melt butter in a saucepan, add port wine and evaporate this mass until thick. Then add a black truffle, cut into the finest petals, and simmer over low heat for another 10-15 minutes. In the finished sauce, grate a fresh truffle too. This sauce is well served with fillet mignon and, for example, venison.

 

It is interesting to prepare butter with black truffle, which can then be used anywhere. The truffle must be mixed with the butter and brought to a temperature of 30–40 degrees. Then the taste of the truffle will open and mix with the oil. Then it is great to add this oil to a paste, for example, to the tagliolini with cream. Or add to any dish where butter and mushroom flavor are appropriate.

However, the main role in the dish will be played not by the truffles themselves but by the main products of a particular dish (meat, fish, poultry) and sauces. Finally, not everyone can experience the gastronomic delight of a truffle. What is the reason for the centuries-old excitement around this unsightly mushroom? Every truffle fan has a different answer to this question. Truffle is not food but a pleasure catalyst.

What do you drink with truffles? Chefs advise drinking wine with truffles. The best wine for truffles is Nebbiolo. This red variety is produced in Piedmont, which is the region where the best Italian truffles are harvested. The bright fruitiness of a young Nebbiolo creates a pleasant contrast with the spicy, earthy, mushroomy aroma of the truffle. 

For example, a risotto decorated with fine truffle slicing can harmoniously match up with Langhe Nebbiolo by Giorgio Pelissero. The winery of the charismatic Giorgio Pelissero is a typical representative of the region, and the wines are distinguished by exquisite taste and aroma. 

On the other hand, the spicy tones of truffle go well with the tertiary aromas that appear in aged wines. These include aged Nebbiolo, age Sangiovese. Finally, France is also the home of the truffle. Therefore, old Burgundy Pinot Noir or Bordeaux will go well with a truffle. Rough young tannins can break the delicate dish that truffles are usually added to. This should be taken into account when choosing other options for a drink.

Finally, wine and truffles are not an easy task. Classic reds are considered St. Emillion, Pomerol, Cahors; of the whites, the most successful are Corton-Charlemagne, Montrachet, or the aged white Bordeaux. Strange as it may seem, but many experts recommend experimenting with mature, fermented in oak barrels Chardonnay, as well as aged and high-quality champagne.

What herbs and spices go well with truffles? The best spices for truffles are white pepper, nutmeg, oregano, allspice, black pepper, fenugreek, and bay leaf. The taste of truffles will become richer and brighter if you add nutmeg, white pepper, and coriander to the dish.

What Is Better White Truffle or Black?


An unsightly mushroom with a pungent aroma, hiding in the ground, seems to have done everything possible to go unnoticed by people. But gourmets are not looking for easy ways. Today, the finest white truffles are sold for the price of gold. While black truffles are called “black diamonds”. But which is better — white truffle or black? Let’s find out. 

What is better white truffle or black? White truffle is better than black because of its strong eathy aroma and rarity. White truffles are more flavorful and aromatic than black ones and are much harder to find (available only from October to January).

What is the difference between black and white truffles? Black truffles grow in the ground near oaks and birches. Black-brown on the outside, these mushrooms are red-brown on the inside. White truffles are similar to Jerusalem artichoke, has a brown peel and light pulp with red veins. White truffles have an even more pronounced aroma than black ones.

Only 10% of harvested truffles are sold individually. Other truffles are used for the production of oils, sauces, and creams. 50% of the world’s truffle harvest is eaten in France. And the largest truffle supplier in the world is China, where truffles are grown in artificial conditions.

Do white and black truffles taste the same? No, white and black truffles taste differently. Black truffle has a stronger taste. Black truffle is widely used to add flavoring sauces, liver purees, and delicious baked goods. While white truffle has a subtle taste and aroma of garlic. These truffles are eaten raw and used in risotto, pasta, broth, egg dishes, tomato containers, risotto, and mozzarella cheese.

Black truffles are distinguished by a strong, persistent, distinctive, and very distinct aroma and a slightly nutty taste. White truffle is a rarer species than black, therefore it is the most valued among mushrooms. So, yes, white truffles are better than black. 

Are white truffles more expensive than black? White truffle is a rarer species, therefore, it is more expensive and appreciated. Its aroma is brighter, and musky, with a tart, nutty note. White truffle is the most expensive type of delicious mushroom — its price reaches at least $ 4,000 per kilogram, while black truffle costs 1200$ per kilogram, on average. 

There are many varieties of truffles, but the most popular and expensive ones are black from French Perigord and white from Italian Umbria. The world’s most expensive white truffle was auctioned for $ 208,000 and served at a banquet in Hong Kong.

White truffles are available from October to December, especially in the market for a white truffle from the Piedmont region of Italy. Its fruiting body is off-white or beige and has a more pronounced flavor and aroma than other truffles.

Black Winter Truffle Grows under an oak tree, less often next to other deciduous trees. Most common in France. The mushroom is black or dark brown on the outside with dark pulp with light veins. The harvest season is from December to March. This truffle has a distinct nutty flavor. Its price is about $ 1,200 per kilogram.

 

Why Are Truffles So Expensive?

Here are the reasons why truffles are so expensive:

  • Truffles have a unique aroma. An amazing aroma, which, like a drug, attracts many people to itself.
  • Truffles are in high demand. Demand far exceeds supply in years with poor precipitation. In dry years (for example, 2012) the price for a white truffle reached € 9000 per kilogram.
  • Truffles require specific conditions. Truffles grow underground only in rare places with specific soil chemistry, rainfall, and temperature changes. And only with certain trees for symbiosis, and it is quite difficult to find them.
  • It takes many years to train dogs to find truffles.
  • Truffles are hard to find. Truffle hunters work long hours searching at dawn in the forest in the autumn cold with high humidity. Many hunters have back problems.
  • Truffles take a long time to grow. Valuable types of truffles ripen only in a short season (3 months a year), not every year is favorable for them. And it takes a long time for them to ripen.
  • Truffles have a complicated life cycle. Once mined from the ground, they begin to lose water, leading to weight loss. And although effective conservation methods have been developed, fresh truffles become inedible after a couple of weeks.
  • Like other delicacies (caviar, for example), a truffle is a luxury item, which is an indicator of status. 

Since white trffules are so rar and expensive, don’t expect to eat 300 grams of them like you would eat porcini or white button mushrooms. And luckily, white truffles are so flavorful and aromatic that you only need a few grams to make your dish oh-so-yummy!

White truffles also do not need heat treatment – they are usually shaved onto the dish. White truffles are most often added to pasta and risotto, but they also taste great with eggs, salads, potatoes and even white meat.

Truffles are a product of the “extra” price category for three reasons, which are the peculiarities of growth, short shelf life, and, of course, taste.  Black and white truffles ripen in winter, white truffles from October to December, and black ones in January-February, and it takes much more time and effort to collect these mushrooms. 

Truffles are very hard to find. People alone have almost zero chance of finding truffles without the help of dogs and pigs.  Traditionally, the search for the mushroom was carried out by pigs who perfectly smell its smell and love the taste. Unfortunately, pigs are also very voracious animals, which also get tired quickly and damage the soil of the “mushroom” grove with their hooves. 

Therefore, not so long ago, dogs began to be attracted everywhere in the search for mushrooms. Dogs have to be trained from an early age. There are a few trained dogs, each with a special chip under the shoulder blade. The price of such a dog reaches $ 3,000.

The unique culinary properties of truffles have long been known. They are suitable both for making pies, sauces, and pie fillings and as an addition to poultry and seafood dishes. Sometimes they can be served as a separate dish. Truffles can be harvested for future use by freezing or canning in high-quality cognac.

The truffle contains vegetable proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins B, PP, and C, various minerals, antioxidants, pheromones, which help to improve the emotional state of a person, and a large amount of fiber. Truffle juice is good for some eye diseases, and the pulp of the mushroom brings relief to people suffering from gout. There are no special contraindications for eating these mushrooms, the main condition is the freshness of the mushroom and the absence of allergic reactions to penicillin in humans.

Can You Farm Truffles?


Truffles are a famous delicacy admired by gourmets around the world. The unusual taste and complexity of cultivation make these mushrooms a rare and valuable product, the farming of which promises a decent profit. Mushroom lovers from different countries have been trying to grow truffles at home or in greenhouses for many years. But can you farm truffles?

Is it possible to farm truffles? It is possible to farm truffles. The planting site must contain soil that is saturated with air, hummus, and calcium. The substrate should not contain stones or rocks. The soil must be treated for parasites and diseases. The optimum temperature for truffle farming is 20-22 degrees.

Why Are Truffles Hard to Farm?

Why is it hard to grow truffles? Truffles are hard to grow because they are very capricious. The formation of fruit bodies occurs when exposed to favorable conditions such as an increase in temperature, moderate humidity, sufficient saturation of the soil with air. You will also need to purchase mycelium and prepare a nutrient medium in which the mushrooms will be grown.

Can I grow truffles at home? Yes, you can grow truffles at home. Truffles are grown in three stages:

  • Transplanting the truffle mycelium to a place favorable for growth;
  • Cultivation of planting truffle embryos from fruit bodies;
  • Planting young truffle embryos.

Mushrooms are grown by transplanting seedlings of various tree species with developed truffle mycelium.

Can you grow white truffle? No, you cannot grow white truffles, you can only grow black truffles. White truffles grow only in some regions of Italy and France, in limited areas, which is why the price of truffles in the USA and around the world is so high.

Can you mass-produce truffles? Yes, you can mass-produce truffles. First of all, you must find land on which you will grow the truffles. You will need to purchase planting material, equipment, and fertilizers. Also, do not forget to register the truffle mass-producing business so that your activity is legal.

If you decide to mass-produce truffles, and you have the opportunity to wait for 3-4 years, then you can get a good profit. Up to 10-15 kg of mushrooms can be harvested from one hectare. There are usually no problems with sales, and elite restaurants buy this product with pleasure. If the quality of the truffles meets all the standards, then you can find a buyer abroad.

A truffle grown under artificial conditions will cost less, and you can sell a kilogram of mushrooms for about $ 500. This is a costly and long-term business, as it takes several years to wait for the first harvest, but it is interesting and profitable.

When harvesting comes, the mushrooms must be removed carefully so as not to damage the mycelium and the body of the mushroom itself. If it has an “illiquid” form, then its cost will drop sharply.

Truffle Growing Conditions

What conditions are needed to grow truffles? The soil must be saturated with air, hummus, and calcium. The soil should not contain any rocks or other plants, or mushrooms. Truffles do not like winds, direct sunlight, and cold weather. Truffles require a temperature of 20-22 degrees. Animals and other plants should not be anywhere near the truffle growing site. 

Choosing a Place to Farm Truffles

The natural habitat for truffles is in the southern regions of Europe, where the climate is not too hot and, at the same time, not too humid. Since these mushrooms are extremely demanding on the environment, only residents of the southern regions can afford to grow truffles.

What environment do truffles grow in?

  • Open ground. As mentioned above, this option is only suitable for regions with a constantly warm climate since, during the cold weather, there is a high risk of truffle’s “death.” What trees do truffles grow under? Truffles grow under the oak, walnut, and beech.
  • Greenhouse. The truffle greenhouse can provide ideal micro and macro flora all year round. However, setting up a greenhouse will require a significant financial investment, which can only be justified if you plan to grow truffles as a business. Otherwise, spending on a heating system, ventilation, air humidification, and expensive soil will not pay off.
  • In the basement. This is the best answer to the question, “Where to grow truffles indoors?”.The basement is good because you don’t need to spend money on its construction, and it does not depend on the influence of wind, hail, or snow. However, the equipment will also cost a pretty penny. Moreover, the basement will require additional disinfection and treatment with antibacterial substances.

It is better to plant the future mushroom in open ground in late spring or early summer when there will be no frost guaranteed. You can plant mycelium in the basement and greenhouse at any time of the year.

Modern mushroom pickers cultivate three main varieties of gourmet mushrooms: white, black, and Chinese. Each of them can be found in natural conditions, and tried to grow planting material from the mycelium on their own.

Truffles grow on oaks and beeches. You can grow truffles on the sawdust of trees or their root system. The first method is easier because it is easier to work with at home.

Shredded trees are infected with mycelium and placed in a sterile, warm place until the formation of mycorrhiza — the union of the spores of the fungus and the tree. When mycorrhiza has taken root, it can be used for planting. However, this will not happen earlier than a year.

An easier option would be to buy ready-made planting material from a trusted supplier. Such material is often sold already in a substrate, which is planted in the soil in small handfuls. To do this, dug holes 25–75 cm deep at a distance of 2 square meters from each other. Before planting, pour the water into the hole, put a layer of hummus, and place a layer of hay or sawdust (up to 200 mm thick) on top of the mycelium.

The first harvest will be insignificant since it takes at least a year for the normal growth of the mycelium. At this stage, many mushroom growers become discouraged and stop growing truffles. The normal yield will be only for 3-4 years, and it will grow each year afterward.

Truffle Care and Growing Rules

Indoor truffles can benefit from supplements containing copper, boron, zinc, calcium, and iron. Nitrogen, phosphate, and potash fertilizers will be useful, too. 

Truffle does not tolerate weeds, fallen and dry foliage, other plants besides those useful to it on the site. Poplar, spruce, and chestnut are especially harmful to it. Also, the mushroom does not tolerate interaction with animals, in particular pigs, which are considered “hunters” for truffles.

In winter, plants in open ground are mulched to protect the planting site from freezing as much as possible. In the spring, the land should be treated against parasites and pests.

The main pests for these mushrooms are pigs and hares, so care must be taken so that they cannot enter the site. Insects such as black cockroaches and weevils can also be harmful.

A ripe mushroom has a bright, earthy smell with a nutty flavor. If the mushrooms are not yet ripe, they will have a reddish tint. Dig up the truffles by hand using a spatula, but this must be done carefully and carefully to cause minimal damage to the mycelium.

Truffle Harvesting

It takes about 5 years to form the crop when the truffle l is formed at a depth of 20–45 cm underground. It is the fruit part that is eaten.

During harvesting, the mushrooms are carefully dug up. Any damage to the fruit negatively affects not only the appearance (the mushroom can rot)but also the taste. To avoid crop losses, dig up the truffles carefully and place them on a flat surface with a layer of soft straw.

The average weight of a mature truffle mushroom is 500–1200 g, and the total weight of the crop can exceed 9 kg.