Grown underground and hunted only by the help of pigs and dogs, these rare and luxurious truffles are one of the most sought after ingredients by top chefs. They have been called the diamond of the kitchen. Known as one of the most desirable gourmet foods, nothing else comes close to the flavor of a truffle and we are thrilled to offer this exciting product at our stores (except Bathurst, Moruya and Edgecliff).
What is it, really?
The truffle is an underground mushroom made up of two parts. The first is the fruiting, the part that you eat. The second part is invisible and is made up of the truffle’s “roots.”
The fruiting body appears during different seasons depending on the type of truffle. The truffle can be large or small, evenly or irregularly shaped, and be present at a depth of between 4 to 16 inches. Underneath its skin, which can be smooth or rough, is a soft flesh.
The truffle’s environment is of the utmost importance for the development of the truffles. It is a very demanding mushroom that needs particular environmental conditions, another reason they are so precious.
A truffle is an edible fungus that grows underground through a symbiotic relationship with the roots of suitable host trees such as hazel and oak trees. When the tree and the fungal filaments reach maturity (usually after about 5 years), the fruiting body or truffle is produced and occurs seasonally thereafter.
Where is it from?
They occur naturally, mainly in France and Italy but these Black Perigold Truffles we are selling this year are produced in Manjimup WA. Truffles are grown in Australia and are usually harvested May to August.
Specially trained dogs are used to sniff out the truffles and are a more user-friendly replacement for the traditional pigs.
75% of the Australian production occurs in Western Australia, and Australia is the 4th largest producer of truffle globally. There are around 160 commercial truffle growers across the country.
How do you use a truffle?
Truffles can be used for cooking, enhancing flavours or for infusing the flavour into foods. Store fresh truffles with fresh eggs in a large jar for 2 days and the yolks will be infused with the truffle aroma.
Thinly slice, grate onto food and into sauces and soups just before eating. Truffles go well with simple dishes involving eggs, mushrooms, chicken, pasta, risotto, potatoes and root vegetables. Truffles have a great affinity for fats, and work with almost any fats, which retain the aroma for example truffle butter.
Fresh Truffle Storage
To be enjoyed at their best, black truffles should be consumed within a few days of being unearthed.
A truffle's worst enemy is moisture. To help keep truffles fresh for longer (up to about 10-14 days) gently wrap fresh truffles in absorbent paper and store in a dry, closed container in the crisper compartment – not the colder parts of the refrigerator. The absorbent paper around the truffle should be changed daily and the jar/container should be kept dry.
The truffle’s strong point is its scent, which comes from a compound called bis-methyltiomethane, an aromatic hydrocarbon. But a truffle is not just a scent: it also has nutritional value, a value that is almost identical for all the different species of truffles, but which varies depending on the environmental conditions in which the truffle develops.
Truffles contain 72% water, very little vegetable fat (0.6%) and a decent amount of protein (8.6%). Truffles are some of the most nutritious mushroom available. Their proteins are intact and rich in methionine, cysteine, and lysene. Truffles are also rich in minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron, sulphur, chlorine, and silicone, as well as amino acids. They also contain fiber (7.6%), an important component for digestion.
You can find some amazing recipes for this gem here.