Truffles

truffleA truffle is the fruiting body of a subterranean Ascomycete fungus, predominantly one of the many species of the genus Tuber. Some of the truffle species are highly prized as food. French gourmet Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin called truffles “the diamond of the kitchen”. Edible truffles are held in high esteem in French, Georgian, Greek, Italian, Croatian, Middle Eastern and Spanish cooking, as well as in international haute cuisine. Truffles are ectomycorrhizal fungi and are therefore usually found in close association with the roots of trees. Spore dispersal is accomplished through fungivores, animals that eat fungi.

However, truffles can be cultivated. As early as 1808, there were successful attempts to cultivate truffles, known in French as trufficulture. People had long observed that truffles were growing among the roots of certain trees, and in 1808, Joseph Talon, from Apt (département of Vaucluse) in southern France, had the idea of transplanting some seedlings that he’d collected at the foot of oak trees known to host truffles in their root system. (Source: Wikipedia)

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