Of all the edible fungi, truffles (Tuber spp.) are perhaps of mycorrhizal ascomycetous fungi. Unlike other common forest mushrooms, truffles are subterranean and resemble small pebbles or clods of dirt beneath the soil. Depending on the species, they may be 1-2 cm across.
They are among the most expensive foods in the world; believed by some to have aphrodisiac properties. It is alleged to have immune enhancing effects. Truffles, tuber aestivum, are fungi that grow underground in wooded areas.
They have never been successfully cultivated and are even a challenge to forage in the wild. Dogs or pigs are specially trained to recognize the scent of the truffle and are taken on gathering events to sniff them out.
The shape of a truffle is an irregular spheroid with a lumpy surface, often described as warty, the texture fleshy.
Black truffles from France, known as Perigord, are best known for flavoring pate de foie gras. White truffles gathered in Alba, Italy, are highly valued as well. Both are priced well out of affordability for the average person's budget. If you are fortunate enough to encounter the real thing, enjoy it raw, cooked, and in the form of Juice or extract.
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