What is a truffle?
A truffle is a mushroom that grows undeground in a close, and not yet fully understood, relationship with the roots of its host tree.
In order to procreate, it has evolved a strong scent which attracts animals to dig it up and spread its spores.
This same aroma has also earned it a mythical status with chefs and foodies, making it known as the "diamond of the kitchen."
Thank you, Mother Nature.
The Big 3 seasons of the truffle world.
Why are truffles so expensive?
Because they are hard to find and they don't last long.
Truffles are very picky about the place they choose to grow. Soil type, temperature, humidity, host trees and many other factors all play a role. Once they're happy, they take about five years to reach maturity.
If a truffle hunter then happens to find the truffle at the right moment (and his dog doesn't damage it!) you have about a week to use it.
Talk about high maintenance.
Should I get fresh or preserved truffles?
You have to weigh the cost and convenience for yourself.
Fresh truffles are a very special experience, but not always available or practical. Quality preserved truffles are a great, easy to use alternative that can be enjoyed year round and makes a great gift for foodies.
If it's your first time using fresh truffles we recommend trying the black summer ones first. They're more affordable and forgiving. Then treat yourself with whites and winter blacks when they come into season.