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What Does Beluga Caviar Taste Like?

Beluga caviar is the rarest and most expensive type of caviar. It is obtained from the sturgeon Huso huso. Not many people have a chance to try real Beluga caviar, so it would be interesting to know what it tastes like and whether it is worth buying.

What does Beluga caviar taste like? Beluga caviar has a delicate taste with a nutty aftertaste. Large eggs of light gray tones have a creamy aroma with a light taste of hazelnuts. A strong, bright fishy smell of Beluga caviar is a sign of fake or illegal caviar. The taste of real Beluga black caviar is gentle, slightly salted. An excess of salt and a pronounced bitter taste is a very bad sign.

Beluga caviar contains nutrient fats and proteins, trace elements, and vitamins — everything that allows the human body to develop normally. So regular consumption of a premium delicacy will have a positive effect on your well-being. The appetizing delicacy impresses with its composition and taste, but the cost is quite high. Always tasty, filling, and very useful – that’s what can be said about Beluga caviar.

Beluga caviar contains vitamins A, B, and D. Regular beluga caviar consumption normalizes blood pressure, the functioning of the digestive system increases the protective functions of the body.

Does beluga caviar taste good? Beluga caviar tastes very good. It has a unique, delicate hazelnut taste with a creamy aroma. High-quality Beluga caviar has a gentle, slightly salted taste and a very thin shell that melts in your mouth as you are eating it. Because of these taste qualities, gourmets all over the world are ready to pay a lot of money for Beluga caviar.

Quality black caviar has a very faint odor that most people hardly catch. A strong, bright fishy smell of Beluga caviar is a sign of fake or illegal caviar. The taste of real Beluga black caviar is gentle, and slightly salted. An excess of salt and a pronounced bitter taste is a very bad sign. The best Beluga caviar has a rich taste with a creamy, nutty flavor and no bitterness.

High-quality Beluga caviar is distinguished by shiny grains that do not stick together and are of the same size. It is not recommended to store it next to pungent-smelling foods so that it does not absorb foreign odors. Beluga caviar is easy to distinguish by the large size of the eggs — they can be up to 3.5 mm. The color of beluga caviar is not black but rather grayish-silver. The shell of beluga caviar is so thin that it literally melts in your mouth.

Sturgeons live long, for example, Beluga can live up to 100 years. Moreover, the older the fish, the more valuable and tasty its caviar is. Young fish under 20 years old give caviar of deep black color. After the fish turns 45, the color of the caviar changes to gray color. Once the fish is 85, the female lays eggs of a light shade with a golden tint. Accordingly, the price of caviar from “mature” fish is higher than from young ones.

The most expensive caviar is “golden”, from almost a 100-year-old old beluga. It is produced exclusively by the Iranian company House Almas. Only 10 kg of golden caviar is produced per year, it is packed in gold jars, and the cost is from $2500 per 100 g.

Black caviar is an expensive delicacy. As with any luxury item, caviar is often counterfeited or sold in poor quality at the price of the best varieties. An honest and trustworthy seller is the best guarantee that you will receive real premium caviar for your money. You should always ask the seller for the documents and certificates on the Beluga caviar.

Beluga Caviar Characteristics

Is Beluga caviar the best? Yes, Beluga caviar is the best and the most expensive. Beluga is an amazing fish that can reach huge sizes and live up to the age of 100 years. Beluga caviar belongs to the delicacies of the premium category due to its benefits and incredibly valuable taste. It has a pronounced nutty taste, which can be appreciated by all fans of unusual and useful delicacies. 

Beluga is the largest of the sturgeon and was previously capable of reaching gigantic sizes — the body length was up to 6 m, the weight could exceed 600 kg. Today beluga is smaller. The life expectancy of individual representatives exceeds 100 years. Females mature at the age of 25 and do not lay eggs every year.

Beluga caviar is quite large and has a thin shell. Beluga eggs can be up to 3.5 mm. The shade can be light gray or almost black. Light seafood is more prized, but the darker delicacy tastes just as creamy and sophisticated. Beluga caviar can cost up to 2.5 thousand dollars per kg if the fish is mature. On average, the caviar of young Beluga costs 600$ per kg. 

How to serve Beluga caviar? Beluga has a high-calorie content, therefore it is recommended to use it in small quantities as a snack to alcohol, for example, vodka or champagne.

Beluga caviar should be served on the table in special caviar bowls and as an independent dish since it absorbs foreign odors. It is better to eat it with silver spoons since the taste of the product deteriorates when it comes into contact with other metals.

Beluga Caviar Health Benefits

Is Beluga caviar good for you? Beluga caviar is good for you because it contains a huge amount of useful elements, including vitamins A, D, and E. Just one spoonful of Beluga caviar a day is enough to improve heart function and increase hemoglobin, prevent atherosclerosis, and improve brain function.

Besides, Beluga caviar helps to strengthen immunity and improve brain activity and mood, and the nervous system. Also, caviar improves eyesight, helps cleanse and rejuvenate skin and hair growth, strengthen nails, and reduce expression lines. The skin becomes hydrated and filled with nutrients, which promotes cell regeneration. Beluga caviar is used in luxury and elite cosmetics that help to rejuvenate the skin and improve hair condition.

In a word, Beluga caviar is priceless, and although its price is quite high, every person who dreams of health and longevity should at least periodically introduce beluga caviar into their diet.

How to Identify Good-Quality Beluga Caviar

When choosing Beluga caviar, pay attention to the eggs themselves since large, light eggs taste much more pleasant than dark and small ones. As for the advice of true gourmets, they can tell the difference between real and low-quality caviar in just a few moments. If caviar cannot be crushed by pressing the tongue against the palate, then it is either overripe or artificial since real beluga caviar practically melts in your mouth. Real caviar should roll on the plate if you blow on it.

Beluga caviar is used in cooking similarly to other types of caviar. Most often on holiday tables, beluga caviar can be seen as the main ingredient in tartlets or sandwiches, as well as in the form of a delicious snack. Beluga caviar is ideal for all kinds of simple appetizers, due to its taste, it does not require complex combinations. White bread, butter, and beluga caviar will be the best combination.

Beluga caviar will go well with champagne or vodka. This type of caviar is often used to make original and delicious sauces. Naturally, it is preferable to use granular caviar in its pure form. It is served in a non-metallic container, and champagne is considered an ideal accompaniment, chilled before serving.

What Do Truffles Taste and Smell Like?

Truffle is an underground tuberous body that belongs to the genus of marsupial mushrooms. They grow in small groups of 3-7 mushrooms and have a fleshy structure and an unsightly appearance, behind which hides an exclusive taste. It is believed that having tasted a truffle once, its aroma will be imprinted in the memory for a lifetime.

What Does a Truffle Smell and Taste Like?

What do truffles taste and smell like? Truffles taste and smell can be compared to roasted walnuts with a pleasant earthy aftertaste with woody and nutty notes. True gourmets eat raw truffles or limit cooking to minimal heat treatment to experience the unique taste and aroma of the delicacy.

Are all truffles edible? Not all truffles are edible. The most valuable and rare varieties are French black, or Perigord, and white Piedmont truffles, which are found in Italy and France. Two types of truffles are popular in Italy —white, which is a rarer type, and black.

White Truffle

This type of truffle is considered rarer and, therefore, more valuable. The main places in Italy where the white truffle is mined are the Piedmont regions, especially in Lombardy, Torino and Alba, Molise, the Marche, and Abruzzo.

White truffles have a complex flavor and aroma profile – they combine garlicky, nutty, earthy, woody, and even slightly spicy notes reminiscent of shallots. To preserve its flavor, you should never subject this “fragile” delicacy to heat treatment.

Black Truffle

Black truffles are commonly found in Italy, especially in Molise, Sicily, and Umbria. In Italy, you can find both winter and summer truffle varieties. Black truffles have a rough surface and resemble potatoes. Even though black truffles are expensive and rare, they are much more common than white truffles that are harder to cultivate.

How can you tell if a truffle is edible? Edible truffles weigh around 30-6- grams which is similar to the size of a small kiwi. However, sometimes truffles can weigh up to 1 kg. Truffles look like potatoes – it has a rough, granular surface and a marble-like flesh reminiscent of wagyu beef. Truffle flesh can be black, white, brownish, and slightly grey.

Those who have tasted truffles note that they have a strong odor reminiscent of algae. Truffles are harvested at night due to the increase in their aromatic properties in cool air. To harvest truffles, dogs and pigs are used, which can easily catch the elite smell of mushrooms.

Does truffle smell bad? Truffle may smell bad for people sensitive to an androstenone molecule. This molecule gives a musky aroma to the truffle, which may repel some people and make them think that the truffle smells bad.

Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley are trying to establish whether the different levels of perception of androstenone are associated with the individual characteristics of the noses or with the way the brain processes aroma signals, notes Berkeley scientist Noar Sobel.

Other substances are also involved in the formation of the peculiar aroma of truffles, but the reaction of people to this mushroom seems to reflect the reaction of people to androstenone. “If there were no androstenone in the truffles, there would be no mystery,” says Avery Gilbert, a consultant to the perfume industry.

Why Are Truffles So Special?

What is so special about truffles? Truffles are special not only because of their aroma and taste but also because of their useful properties. Truffles contain vitamins PP, B1, B2, and C.  Truffles will be beneficial for people suffering from immune deficiency and impaired intestinal microflora. Riboflavin in truffles helps to cure gastritis, nervous system disorders, chronic colitis, and skin diseases.

Not so long ago, scientists proved that truffles are good for delaying skin aging. Cosmetologists are already producing a line of creams based on truffles to prevent wrinkles. Like most mushrooms, the calorie content is low and is just 24 kcal per 100 g. The truffle goes well with various products due to its bright taste.

How can you tell if it’s a truffle? What does a truffle look like in the wild? The surface of a truffle is black with a blue or brown tint, smooth, cracked, or covered with small bumps. On the cut, the color of the truffle resembles marble due to the presence of many mixed light and dark veins. Young truffles are distinguished by elastic white flesh with a yellowish or grayish tint, old ones — with brownish brown flesh and an increased number of white veins.

Truffles are very capricious to environmental conditions. Truffles grow in mixed forests with a predominance of oaks and beeches, which must be at least 15 years old. Truffles grow in soft soil, rich in minerals. The climate should be warm and humid, with abundant rainfall. At the same time, the truffle grows underground at a depth of 10–30 cm. Therefore, its reproduction depends on wild animals, which, eating it, spread spores.

Ultimate Guide on How to Grow Truffles in the USA

Truffles are very rare mushrooms and they need some particular conditions to grow in. If you live in the USA and want to grow truffles, you will need to purchase mycelium and prepare a nutrient medium in which the mushrooms will be grown. Let’s dive into the recommendations for truffle growing.

Where can you find truffles in the US? In the USA, Burgundy truffles (summer truffles) and Perigord black truffles are common. You can find truffles in the forests of California, Washington, North and South Carolina, Idaho, Oregon, and Virginia. As for white truffles, white truffles in the USA grow in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California. 

Ultimate Guide on How to Grow Truffles in the USA

Can you grow truffles in the US? Yes, the climate in the USA allows you to grow truffles. There are big opportunities for truffle growing in the USA with California, North and South Carolina, Oregon, Idaho, and Virginia being the primary places for truffle growing. In the USA, you can grow truffles either in a greenhouse or a forest.

Since truffles go bad quickly, you will have an advantage over European truffles because you will be able to sell them to restaurants faster and they will remain fresh.

But while France and Italy may be rich in truffle history, U.S. growers do have one big advantage: Chefs prize freshness, and a U.S. truffle can go from the ground to a chef’s kitchen in a day or overnight, where a European truffle may take days, losing its scent. []

How to Start a Truffle Farm in the USA

How do you start a truffle farm in the USA? To start a truffle farm, you will need to purchase mycelium and prepare a nutrient medium in which the mushrooms will be grown. The nutrient medium should have the soil from deciduous forests, leaves, a nutrient solution with nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, and fresh oak wood. 

Truffles are very “capricious” mushrooms and they only grow in specific conditions. The nutrient medium should consist of the following components:

  • The top layer of the soil should be from a deciduous forest together with the leaves;
  • A nutrient solution should contain nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizers;
  • Fresh oak wood should be processed into shavings or sawdust.

After you have bought mycelium, prepared the nutrient medium, and made a greenhouse, you can start the growing process.

Growing Truffles At Home: Growing Truffles Without Trees

How to grow a truffle at home? After you have prepared the soil, it must be sieved to exclude stones and saturate with oxygen. Check the acidity of the nutrient medium — it should not be less than 7.5 Рh. Put a layer of oak sawdust onto the prepared truffle beds. Mix the mycelium with a small amount of soil, and treat it with nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizers.  Leave truffles to germinate for a month. Maintain moderate moisture in the soil and remove weeds that interfere with the normal growth of fungi.

How long does it take to grow truffles? The first truffle 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. Normally, it takes 3-4 years to get a decent truffle harvest. 

How to Grow Truffles Under Oak Trees

Truffle grows best under oak trees, so if you want to grow truffles under a tree, opt for an oak. Some people even plant oak forests to create the best conditions for truffles. Before they plant trees for the forest, they infect the roots with truffle mycelium. The truffle is closely intertwined with tree roots and takes essential nutrients from them. Such a partnership is beneficial to both, since the mushroom takes the carbohydrates, amino acids, and trace elements it needs from the tree, and gives back phosphorus and minerals.

How do you grow truffles under oak trees? Plant oak seedlings infected with mycelium at a distance of 4-5 meters. To prevent the mycelium from dying, do not fertilize the soil. To prevent the growth of weeds, treat the soil with ammonium glufosinate. To reliably protect the truffle from wind, frost, and pests, the planting depth should be 60-75 cm. Before planting, pour a little water to moisten the soil. 

There are certain conditions for choosing a location for growing truffles under oak trees: if the area is located above 1000 meters and below 100 meters relative to sea level, then it will not work. The optimal areas are those located within 400-600 meters above sea level.  It is necessary to determine whether the topsoil, which is the most fertile, is washed away under the influence of rain, wind, meltwater. The depth of the fertile layer should be at least 10-15 cm.

Check the acidity of the soil. Put a litmus paper in the soil. If it turns blue, then the soil is suitable for growing truffles. The terrain must be flat. The climate should not be very humid, since the rains during the ripening of mushrooms have a bad effect on them. It should not be very hot in the summer, the optimum temperature is 18-22 degrees.

The fact that the mushrooms have grown and you can start collecting them will be indicated by the presence of small hills on the ground. The height of the tree under which these mushrooms are grown should not exceed 100-120 cm.

The main pests for truffles are pigs and hares. Insects such as black cockroaches and weevils can also be harmful. So you need to make sure you treat the soil against pests.

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

How to Inoculate Truffles?

Where to buy truffle mycelium? It is necessary to purchase mycelium only in specialized stores and from trusted sellers. To inoculate one seedling with mycelium, approximately 150 grams of fresh or 100 grams of dry mycelium are required. Its cost will be in the range of 20-30$, but it all depends on the supplier and quality.

It will be easier to inoculate the root system of a tree with spores of the fungus. But the probability that the mycelium will take root well is small. Therefore, the root system of the seedlings is usually treated with a substrate with mycelium. For this, oak and walnut are best suited. When using the latter, you can get a double benefit. Saplings are taken with a height of 30-50 cm and are infected with spores of French black, summer, or Chinese truffles.

For inoculation, the roots of trees are treated with a mixture of peat and a liquid substrate of mycelium. Then the trees are quarantined for 2 weeks. After that, the seedlings are placed in the ground, the final overgrowth of the roots by the mycelium occurs after 11-12 months.

Trees are fed with complex NPK fertilizer. You also need to add a small number of micronutrient fertilizers – iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, and boron. According to this scheme, it is possible to grow hazel inoculated with truffle mycelium.

The edible part of truffles is the spore-containing fruit bodies of the mushrooms. They are up to 20 cm underground and can weigh from 500 g to 1.2 kg. Sometimes fruit bodies can rot, then they lose their market value. To prevent damage to the truffles, the surface of the soil should be sprinkled with sand. Flies are an indicator of the presence of truffles close to the surface.

Growing Truffles As a Business

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

A truffle grown under artificial conditions will cost less. 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.

Even though this is a very expensive business and it will take several years to get the first profit, it is profitable and interesting. The high cost of truffles allows you to quickly recoup costs. If you want to sell your truffles at a higher price, you need to obtain quality certificates for them.

In-Depth Research on How to Find Truffles

Truffle is a delicacy that, as a real treasure, is mined from underground. The subtleties of its collection are known to experienced mushroom pickers and their specially trained dogs. Many hotels in Northern Italy are now inviting for the “quiet hunt” with royal trophies. However, truffles do not grow only in Italy, so you might find some in your area. In this article, I will give you some useful tips on how to find truffles and where to search for them.  

Where is the best place to find truffles? The best place to find truffles is in the oak and hornbeam forests and on limestone soils. Truffles grow under trees, or rather on their roots, and choose only certain species as their home: oak, birch, hazel, beech. The most valuable truffles can be found in the south of France, Switzerland, and northern Italy.

What kind of trees do truffles grow under? Summer truffles grow under beech, hornbeam, and oak trees, while the Piedmontese truffle grows under birch, linden, and poplar trees. Truffles grow underground in deciduous forests and form mycorrhiza in symbiosis with trees.

How many truffles can one tree produce? One tree can produce up to a thousand truffles, but only three or four truffles will remain on one tree. Sometimes, truffles grow alone, but, as a rule, one tree will produce up to 5 truffles.

How deep in the ground are truffles? Truffles are usually 15-20 cm deep in the ground. Truffles begin to grow underground, reach 20-30 cm, and only then come to the surface, after which they need 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.

What animal is used to find truffles in the ground? Pigs are used to find truffles in the ground. They like eating truffles, so they will find them by smell. Dogs are also used to find truffles in the ground. Such dogs can smell a truffle at a distance of several meters. Truffle-hunting dogs need to be trained for a long time. That is why such dogs can cost up to 15 thousand dollars.

Can dogs smell truffles? Of course, dogs can smell truffles. Dogs have been used to find truffles in the ground since the Middle Ages. Dogs can smell a truffle at a distance of 10 meters, and they will never eat raw truffles, unlike pigs. Truffle-hunting dogs start to be trained as puppies when the owner buries cheese in the ground. Such coaching may last up to five years, so no wonder these dogs are expensive. 

It is better to go on a quiet hunt with a dog or a pig at night. Dogs and pigs can smell truffles better at night when it is cooler. However, if you use a pig to find truffles, you must put a muzzle on its face that would prevent it from opening its mouth. But what about pigs, can they eat truffles? Yes, they sure can, and they probably will. Pigs like truffles and do not mind eating them after finding them. 

Why are pigs good at finding truffles? Pigs have a good sense of smell and can smell truffles at a depth of 1 meter. It is believed that the sex hormones of male pigs have a smell similar to truffles. Nowadays, however, dogs are more often used to search for truffles since pigs often eat a significant part of the mushrooms they find.

Since not many people know much about truffles, some may think that truffles are made from pigs. Of course, this is not true that truffles are made from pigs. Pigs are only used to find truffles, but they do not produce truffles. 

As for dogs, they get used to finding truffles quite easily. Before finding a truffle in the forest, dogs should eat exclusively milk boiled with truffles. Of course, the choice of dogs for such training should fall on the breeds with good hunting instinct and who are not accustomed to chasing any kind of fowl. It is also advised to choose a dog with short legs for truffle finding. 

Truffle hunting can be carried out with a professional guide and trained dog. Many Tuscan hotels offer gourmet forest tours of varying lengths. Excursions can take an hour or two, but much more often stretch out for the whole day. Then the “quiet hunt” is combined with wine tasting and/or a truffle-making master class and a stop for lunch. The price of such tours starts at 80 euros.

How to find truffles without a dog or a pig? If you want to find truffles without a dog or a pig, go to forests with dry limestone soil and sparse vegetation. Most often, truffles grow in oak or beech rooves. As a rule, the vegetation is scarce above truffles. Truffles can also be found in swarms of yellow truffle flies that lay eggs near these mushrooms. Their larvae feed on truffles. 

Also, if you suddenly find that the ground around the bush is dug up, then perhaps wild boars or bears, also great lovers of elite delicacies, have already been here. Search immediately, the probability of finding a truffle will be very high.

Why Are Truffles So Hard to Find?

Truffles are so hard to find because they grow underground and are located at a depth of 20 cm. It is impossible to notice truffles with the naked eye. You will need to go truffle hunting with a trained dog or a pig. Also, truffles need the soil to contain a lot of calcium. 

The delicacy grows underground and is not easy to find. But there are some signs that you might have stumbled upon a valuable delicacy: 

  • The vegetation above the truffle is sparser; 
  • Soil takes on a gray tint; 
  • Red flies use the fruiting body of the truffle to feed the larvae, so they swarm around “mouth-watering” places.

How long does it take to grow a truffle? It will take at least six years to grow a truffle. However, on average, it takes about 10 years to collect the first truffle harvest. Truffles do require special conditions to grow. What are they?

What climate do truffles grow in? Truffles grow in a warm climate with mild winters and humid, cool summers. Truffles do not like rain since moisture takes away a truffle’s aroma and makes it rot. Truffles do not like winds and direct sunlight. The perfect soil acidity for truffles is 7.9, which is resistant to water erosion, loose, with lime, an admixture of clay, rich in humus, nitrogen, and calcium.

How Do Truffles Look?

What does a truffle look like in the ground? Truffles are round or tuberous. The consistency is fleshy or cartilaginous. They can be as small as walnuts or as large as potatoes. The outer layer of a truffle is smooth, cracked, or warty, depending on the variety. The inside of the truffle has dark and light veins. In the section, it looks like marble.

Fresh, high-quality truffles have a strong aroma. If you press a truffle, it should be soft. The truffle forms mycorrhiza with many trees. Its black and summer varieties grow near beeches, oaks, hornbeams, and hazel trees. Piedmont truffles grow on the roots of birches, poplars, elms, lindens, and mountain ash. 

What causes truffles to grow? Symbiosis with trees causes truffles to grow. The mycelium envelops the root system of the tree, so it better absorbs nutrients from the soil.

How do you dig for truffles? When digging for truffles, you should act carefully and adhere to several rules:

  • When you find a truffle, clear the area around it.
  • Do not pull the fruit bodies out of the ground, but carefully remove them with a knife.
  • Cut without damaging the surface and root.

Do not look for truffles in young forests. They have poor soil unsuitable for the growth of the truffle.

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.