8 White Truffle Facts That You Should Know ...


8 White Truffle Facts That You Should Know ...
8 White Truffle Facts That You Should Know ...

Have you ever tried white truffle? The fungi has been growing in popularity recently, and it seems even celebs are loving the new trend. Made In Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh tweeted a ‘food porn’ image of something yellow covered in white truffle last week, and restaurants have reported a big increase in demand since then. So what is white truffle, and should you try it?

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What is It?

A truffle is the fruiting body of Ascomycete fungus. Black truffles can be found in Britain, France and across Europe, but high quality white truffle is only found in Italy. They are typically found close to trees in wet wooded areas, which led the ancient Greeks to believe they formed when lightening hit wet soil.


Where Can You Find Some?

White truffles are usually found in Northern Italy, especially in the forest areas around Alba and Asti. While they can grow around any tree roots, they are commonly found around oak, hazel and beech. Typically they can be found all year round, but they are most common between October and November.


How Much do They Cost?

There is no set price for white truffles, as the price is based on supply and demand. The average price, however, is between $1000 and $2200 per pound. Which means Millie’s meal must have cost a small fortune!


The Record Cost…

Hunting white truffles is definitely a profitable hobby – back in December 2007, casino owner Stanley Ho set the record for the most expensive truffles on record by paying £165,000 for a single white truffle weighing 3.3lbs. That’s around $300,000!


How do You Find Them?

Black truffles are usually cultivated very similarly to other types of fruit and vegetables, but white truffles have a much more unique hunting process. The only way to locate them is to use truffle pigs, or occasionally dogs. Pigs love truffles, because they release a chemical that smells very similar to a male pig pheromone. It’s thought it’s the same as a chemical found in men’s underarm sweat, too. This attracts pigs to the truffles, and makes them easier to find.


You Can’t Fake It…

For a while, every chef was recommending using truffle oil if real truffles are out of your price bracket. Until the chefs started being honest, that is. Gordon Ramsey put it best when he branded it “one of the most pungent, ridiculous ingredients ever known to a chef.”


France Makes the Most…

France is the world’s biggest producer of so called “inferior black truffles.” It runs a big export business, harvesting around 30 tonnes per year to sell to restaurants around the world. Most truffles found in stores and restaurants will be French, although some restaurants prefer to use Italian or British truffles despite the higher price.


It’s Sexy…

Yep, you guessed it – white truffle is considered an aphrodisiac, which is why it often features in ‘romantic’ recipes. When ancient cultures discovered white truffle, they described the smell as being similar to sex and dirty sheets. Monks in the Middle Ages were even banned from eating them, in case they produced a sexual urge which made the monk forget his vows.

While Millie seems to be a big fan of white truffle, it’s certainly an acquired taste. It’s a lot more bitter than people tend to expect, and the smell really is something else! But would you like to try the ingredient? I’m torn between backing away from something so smelly, and trying the latest in luxury ingredients… help me decide!

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How are truffles cooked ?

The cost makes my decision easy! $1000 for fungi that stinks like sex & dirty sheets????!!!! I don't think so!

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