Tuber Magnatum. What a name for the most refined of all mushrooms?!
Truffles, you are the diamonds of South European cuisine, especially French and Italian. I am writing this article in an antique apartment of Florence where your intense flavor often escapes from some beautiful Trattoria, revealing your complex and carnal fragrant spectrum.
Truffles grow underground, in the root system of oak trees. Female pigs are truly mesmerized by the scent of truffles, as it is chemically closely associated with male pheromones, present in the boar’s saliva and even in humans. These animals were trained to hunt for the subterranean fungus and were later replaced by dogs, less interested by eating the precious tuber. This is however the way this mushroom chose for its reproduction. Nature is amazing!
Like in a chess game, the white truffles from Italy compete with the black ones from Perigord in South-West of France, for the most aromatic compounds they can distill to their local cuisine. The best European Chefs since the Renaissance have pleased the palates of the Courts and fortunate of this world. Today, truffles remain expensive but surely more affordable. They are often honored in some Nouvelle Cuisine and other fusion food, and common in the truly delicious Tuscan food.
The particular shape and color of the truffles have also inspired the master chocolate-makers who created its sweet equivalent. In Italy, one round ice-cream desert with soft chocolate in the middle is called “tartufo”, the Italian name of the truffle.
Truffle notes are even found in perfumery, for their carnal smell. Tom Ford uses it on several of his creations such as “Noir de Noir” and “Black Orchid”. “Valentina” of Valentino is perhaps the ladies’ fragrance where the truffle note is the most obvious beside top notes of bergamot and an obvious base of vanilla.
Oh my dear friends, tonight will be another fantastic tartufo evening at the Osteria Santo Spirito of Florence!
Buon Appetito a tutti!
Copyright: hfng / 123RF Stock Photo