Monday, December 5, 2011

Truffles Gourmet Food or Underground Fungal Growth?

One person's decadent and irresistible guilty pleasure may well be another's culinary calamity! In other words, what one of us craves is most likely another person's gastronomic nightmare because each of us is different in our tastes, our likes and dislikes. Truffles have long been considered an expensive item that comes in solid or liquid form. The liquid is usually seen in the form of oil. Truffle oil is often a cheaper form of truffle as it provides the flavouring and aroma of more expensive truffles. The truffle oil most commonly found used for cooking may actually not even contain truffles however, as it is most likely olive oil that has added synthetic flavourings to duplicate those found in true truffle oil. Many of the better known head chefs do not even realize the truffle oil they use in recipes has no actual truffle in it. There is also a truffle vodka available which is infused with the oil from black Perigord truffles. This may be used as an alcoholic spirit or used in cooking by chefs who prefer the flavours it imparts.

How can a fungus taste so good?

The flavour added by truffles is said to be an "acquired taste" or one that is either appreciated or not. Those who enjoy the pungent taste know it must be used sparingly or it tends to overpower all other flavours in a recipe. Various types of truffle will determine the strength or earthiness of the flavours they add into popular dishes made in gourmet restaurants. There are several highly desirable truffle varieties to be found:

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