ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Truffles, the King of all Fungi

Updated on November 9, 2014

Truffles - Highly Prized!

White Truffles
White Truffles

A Black Truffle

Whole black truffle.  These don't look like much, but taste amazing!
Whole black truffle. These don't look like much, but taste amazing!

Truffle Poll

Have you ever eaten a meal that included truffle?

See results

Truffles, and I don't mean chocolate

Truffles are an amazing delicacy that you will find being used in both Italian and French cuisine. More and more, we see them being incorporated around the globe, as these little nuggets worth their weight in gold (literally), are making the news. If you have never experienced a truffle of this type try to make it a point some time in your life to have a meal that incorporates even the littlest bit of them.  Very fragrant, they are described as peppery, garlicky, honey like, but really hard to describe overall.  There seems to be nothing else like them.

For instance, we were on a trip once, our family vacation, and we stopped for dinner at a nice restaurant in the Grand Canyon. It is called El Tovar, and is a wonderful lodge right there on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Anyway, this was a special night, a night we had reserved and it was time to "splurge". I had never had truffles, and I barely even did this night. I ordered an amazing steak, and it was all wonderful the sides, etc. What we didn't expect, was that the truffle "glaze" that it came with, would be so unbelievably delectable and amazing! There were the tiniest bits of these truffles included in this recipe for a glaze. My oldest son, tried it as did my husband and they both were very wowed! My son kept asking, "Mom, can I have some more of that good gravy?" To which I replied, don't call it that, this isn't your average biscuits and gravy! He continued on calling it gravy just to "get my goat" and we all had a good laugh. The point was, we never before or since had had the incredible taste of the truffles that made this dish top notch. You can just imagine then, how they taste in so many other dishes, where there is much more of the truffle included.

Truffles are actually a fungus, like mushrooms although they look nothing like them. They actually look a bit more like potatoes than anything else. It sounds kind of gross, that these incredible treats are fungus, found in the dirt, that pigs love to dig up and gobble down. I find the whole thing very interesting, and its incredible that in nature, we find another "gem" for our enjoyment in cooking.

Truffles grow deeper in the ground than mushrooms, and also have a symbiotic relationship to plants, so this gives us clues as to their whereabouts. It used to be that people just searched for them until they found them. Now there is a bit more science behind it all to help. In the fall, is when the season begins that people go about trying to find these very expensive fungi. They can get top dollar for them, so its very worthwhile to try to and harvest wherever they grow. Italy it turns out, is just one of those places that these truffles can be found. Lucky Italians!

In Italy, they tend to find more of the white truffles, which are often more expensive than the wonderful black truffles found in France. Both are incredibly delicious and demand top dollar. They are just so good, and bring so much flavor to foods, that you can see why they are included in some fancier Italian cuisines, as well as French, etc.

Another View of a Black Truffle

A black truffle
A black truffle

Hunting for truffles in Tuscany, &the dog is so obedient! Watch the peoples exclamations when they dig it up, mmm!

On the hunt for truffles


Truffle Poll #2

Have you ever seen a truffle?

See results

More about truffles

Truffles grow deeper than a lot of fungi, and especially around the roots of truffle oak trees. They are down about 30 centimeters or so below the surface.  Thus, hard to find if you don't know what clues to look for, or have special help from the animal kingdom.  One of the very interesting things to note about truffles, is that no one, has been able to cultivate them no matter how hard they try.  They only grow on their own in particular regions.  For instance, you will find truffles growing 44 - 46 degrees north latitude (approximately).  The closest thing to being able to cultivate them, is to plant truffle oaks, to increase one's chances. 

I have seen a show on the television once, about specialty trained pigs (sows) and dogs that are used especially for hunting down truffles.  In short, they take these animals, definitely leashed on a walk or a run sometimes, and the animal sniffs out the truffles.  When these animals find them, they begin to dig feverishly, at which time the owners need to pull them back, lest they reach and gobble up these delectable fungi!  What a risk, considering that if your dog or pig did get to it before you did, that you may lose out on a lot of money. 

There are many stories, mysteries even surrounding unfortunate accidents or missing animals over these buried gems.  People will fight for these things.  Sows love to eat these tubers, and have a very keen sense of smell for them.  They are not small animals, and it takes some strength to pull them off of a truffle once found.  More and more dogs are being trained to help out with this worthy cause.

A $50,000 dollar truffle purchase!

Cost of truffles

The cost of truffles depends on which market you are buying them in, and their color. There are black, grey and white truffles, and all will fetch a "pretty penny". There are some in France, that were sold for about $750 dollars a kilo, but by the time these same truffles reached North America, prices went up to $1,250, to $1,500 a kilo. A lot depends on the store location, and how popular an establishment is, etc.

There have been some grey truffles found in America. Anyone want to go on a walk in the woods with a digging implement?
After tasting just a little bit of truffle in a glaze sauce, and after all I have learned, I begin to see the reasons why truffles are so popular. You can maybe begin to see why some unscrupulous types have been driven to gunfighting, theft, and why investigations are underway for missing trained dogs and pigs, etc! Some scientists have been called in to help investigators learn more to catch these culprits.

I would have to say, that just a tiny bit of truffle in a glaze sauce, with my meal, was the best thing I have ever eaten in my life.  I can't really compare it to anything else either.  There are other foods I love, that are maybe close, but not really any that were better.

© 2010 Paula


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you very much, Realfoodie! I appreciate your visit and comment.

    • REALfoodie profile image

      C De Melo 

      7 years ago from Florence, Italy and WORLDWIDE

      Very nice article!!!

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Oh, you have to have truffle sometime, it is so great! Even a sauce flavored with truffle is wonderful!

    • PhoenixV profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      I dont think I have ever had a truffle.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Teresa, thank you for sharing about the Truffle Tremor Cheese, that sounds wonderful!

    • eventsyoudesign profile image


      8 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      Truffles are so expensive because of the time it takes to harvest them, but they are worth every dollar. The ancient Greeks and Romans credited them with both therapeutic and aphrodisiac powers. My favorite cheese happens to be Truffle Tremor. Cypress Grove makes this creamy goat cheese and truffles. I enjoyed reading this hub. I wish I was enjoying some wine and cheese right now. Thanks for sharing. Teresa

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Stevan, that sounds like a wonderful way to make a living, having a truffle farm. So much to learn about and enjoy.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Les Trois, that sounds great to live so close to truffle country! I would love that.

    • profile image

      stevan the black truffle farmer 

      8 years ago

      Who would have thought that a black truffle farm was possible. In Spain and other parts of the world the black truffle is being farmed as a normal crop. A black truffle farm is a great way to make a living.

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 

      8 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      We live on the edge of Limousin,very near the borders of the Dordogne in France - great truffle country. I'm ashamed to say that I have never tried them. Think am due for a little sortie this autumn to a good restaurant!

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Peggy, oh I bet it was a memorable evening! Thanks for the comment

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We once went to a dinner where each course had truffles in it. That was a memorable evening for sure!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)