*Editor’s Note: Black Winter Truffles are a luxurious addition to winter menus, and we want everyone to get the best possible quality, so a special order is required. Please contact your account representative if you want to serve Black Truffles.
Definitely not chocolate…
Often confused with the other black truffles such as Summer and Chinese truffles—due to the common habitat and the similar plant symbiosis—the Black Winter Truffle is also known by the “Périgord Truffle” and “The Black Diamond of Provence”
It was thought that truffles are born in the point where thunderbolts thrown by Zeus met the earth. Toscana Divino, says “Truffles are the fruiting body from certain species of subterranean fungi. Normally found near the roots of certain trees, truffles rely on fungivores (animals that eat fungi) to spread their spores.”
When you combine that not so tasty description with the fact that they are used to be rooted out by pigs, you may end up asking yourself, “Why are they so expensive?”
Interesting side note: Pigs are slowly being replaced by dogs…since:
- Pigs like to eat truffles
- They can cause a lot of damage – and have been outlawed in Italy since 1985 for hunting truffles
So, if you are thinking the wages between pigs and dogs can’t actually be the driving factor in the exorbitant truffle price – you are correct!
Why are Black Winter Truffles so expensive? There are a couple of factors at play…
Increasing demand, scarcity of the truffles themselves since they are not cultivated and are incredibly rare, and in the case of the Black Winter truffle—it simply comes down to the exotic aroma and taste combination of both earth and chocolate is priceless.
Now most people will agree that warmth helps to increase the aroma and flavor, and true heat will diminish what a truffle brings to a dish. It is for this reason that truffles shine when used to finish a dish. Some traditional dishes will use thin slices of Black Winter truffles inserted into slits cut into meats or under the skin of poultry. This is for black truffles only, since most truffle purists believe that the white truffle should always be added after cooking.
Black Winter truffles are in season during the winter, and are not something that is stocked. Call your account representative and find out more information about this true winter menu beauty. They require special shipping and handling instructions.
Content provided by Chef Ron Smith, the Director of Culinary Services for FreshPoint South Texas. He has been in the Foodservice industry years 30 plus years, and loves thinking outside the box concerning food and life. Follow FreshPoint South Texas on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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