Dubbed as the diamond of the kitchen, these little morsels are a prized possession in the world of gastronomy. Celebrated by tastebuds all around the globe, there’s no doubt you’ve encountered truffle adorning the simplest of dishes to the most extraordinary. Reserved for the most special of occasions, however, is fresh truffle. You’ll most likely see them popping up from late autumn through winter. So, what exactly are these funky-looking fungi?
Simply put, truffles are distantly related to mushrooms (think second-cousin-once-removed-esque), but infinitely more complex. Truffles form entirely underground amongst the roots of certain types of trees (oak, beech and hazel). They’re a precarious crop to grown and extremely difficult to harvest. Truffle farmers roam through forested areas with highly trained dogs who sniff out the buried truffle treasure. It’s no easy feat, which is reflected in their fairly exorbitant price.
Truffles have a unique taste - earthy, aromatic, and are similar to mushrooms but with more depth and complexity.
Some tips for cooking with Truffles:
Chances are, you won’t find truffles at your local farmers market. Sourcing fresh truffles can be a mission, but when you get your hands on this fabulous fungi, you’re going to want to do something pretty special. Like any fresh produce, truffles begin to lose their sparkle the moment they’re pulled from the ground, so you’re going to want to be ready to use them straight away. Some cooking ideas:
- Shave fresh truffle over dished as a finishing touch (they go best with risotto, mashed potatoes, pizza, and any cheesy pasta.)
- Cream, butter and oil marry beautifully with truffle
- Avoid pairing truffles with citrus and vinegar
- Truffles can be frozen to extend their lifespan. Wrap them up and keep them in an airtight container in your freezer.
Come truffle hunting with us!
The Burnham Beeches Estate is home to a 200-tree trufferie, and in a month's time, will be ready for harvest. Join the experts on the hunt for black truffle, and afterwards, enjoy the fruits of your labour with a four-course truffle-inspired dinner designed by Vue de monde's Head Chef, plus matched wines. To find out more about this event, head here