Learn About Black Truffles

Author: Chef Toby

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What are Black Truffles?

Black truffles are a type of fungus that grows underground near tree roots. They are commonly found in France and Italy, as well as parts of Oregon and California. Black truffles can be anywhere from the size of a strawberry to that of a baseball and have a bumpy, black exterior and a tan interior. Truffles are very hard to cultivate, difficult to harvest, and are only available during certain times of the year, making them very pricey. 

What do Black Truffles taste like?

People have many different opinions about what black truffles taste like because there isn’t anything that tastes like them. Black truffles are considered robust and earthy in flavor. 

How do you use Black Truffles?

Truffles have a very strong flavor and should be used sparingly. They are commonly found grated or shaved on top of foods like pasta, eggs, risotto, and fondue. 

Learn About Black Truffles

Where do you buy Black Truffles?

Black truffles are especially hard to find and require some research. Online fine food sellers are the best places to find truffles. Most grocery stores do not carry truffles, and it is best to try and locate them at a specialty food store; however, online is best. 

How do you store Black Truffles?

Black truffles will lose their aroma within a week to ten days after harvesting, so its best to eat them right away. To store truffles, wrap them in a paper towel and place them inside of an airtight, plastic container. Store them in the crisper drawer or the warmest part of the refrigerator. 

Fun fact about Black Truffles:

One reason that truffles are so expensive has to do with the way they’re harvested. A majority of truffles are wild and grow in meadows and forests. Truffle hunters train dogs to sniff out the scent of the truffles and dig them out of the ground. 

Did you know?

Many restaurants that serve truffle-infused dishes use truffle oil instead of real truffles. Most varieties of truffle oil never come near a truffle at all but are infused with a chemical found in truffles that gives it the unique aroma and flavor of real truffles.

Recipes Using Truffles

Scrambled Eggs with Truffle

Give your breakfast a fancy upgrade with truffled scrambled eggs. In a saucepan, add butter and chopped truffle, and melt the butter on low heat. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and stir frequently over low heat. until the eggs thicken. Serve with additional truffle shavings and season with salt and pepper.

Truffle Fondue

In a large bowl, add fontina cheese, cover it with milk, and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. In a saucepan, combine eggs, cheese, and butter. Place this saucepan over another saucepan with boiling water. This method is called a double boiler and allows the steam of the water to gently cook the fondue evenly. Whisk until the cheese is completely melted, and shave the truffles on top.

Chickpea, Mushrooms and Truffle Sauté

In a cast-iron skillet, melt butter and olive oil, until the butter starts to bubble. Add in chanterelle mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms brown on all sides. Add in a drained can of chickpeas, and sauté. When the chickpeas have some color, add chopped parsley, lemon juice, and more butter. Serve immediately and top with grated black truffle.

Black Truffle Pasta

Dress up pasta with just 4 ingredients for a simple yet luxurious meal. In a skillet, melt butter and add finely chopped truffle. Add cooked linguine pasta into the butter, and coat the pasta. Add in some of the pasta cooking liquid, which has starch that will help create a sauce. Stir in freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve the pasta with pepper and additional truffle shavings.

Truffled Mashed Potatoes

Use truffle butter in stead of regular butter to make these mashed potatoes the star of your dinner. In a large mixing bowl, mash boiled potatoes with truffle butter, salt and pepper. You can also use a potato ricer or a hand mixer, depending on the texture you like.

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