Described as the “diamond of the kitchen” by French gourmet, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (from Wikipedia French lawyer and politician, and gained fame as an epicure and gastronome), truffles are considered prized nutritional condiments and premium food additive. Truffles are the fruiting body of an ascomycete fungus usually found underground, which is predominantly one of the several species of the Tuber genus.
There are truffle species which are highly prized as food, and these edible truffles are held highly by people and cultures in places like France, Italian (here you can discover all the Italian truffle types), Ottoman cultural demography, Middle Eastern and Spanish cuisine. In these places where truffles are cherished, they are cultivated agriculturally and can also be harvested from their natural habitats where they grow without the human influence of any sort.
What is a White Truffle?
TUBER MAGNATUM PICO
One of the best and unique species of truffle is the Alba white truffle, often referred to as the winter white truffle, Piedmont or Alba truffle (basically because Italy is blessed with an abundance of the white truffles). Truffles grow and are found a few inches down in the earth, and often have to grow in symbiosis with the roots of hardwood trees like oaks, chestnut, hazelnut, and hornbeam. The irregularly shaped knobby little spheres range in size from an inch or so across to over a pound (though truffles of that size are rare). The firm flesh of a white truffle is pale cream to light brown in color, with white marbling throughout. Discover what is Black Truffle or the difference between black and white truffles.
Why truffles are generally highly
One reason why truffles are generally highly sought after – apart from the fact that they are rare to find – is that they are highly nutritional and serve the several health benefits. They are high on carbohydrates, protein, and fiber and usually contain both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, micronutrients of various importance, etc. Truffles are placed to be a complete source of protein by recently evolving research and are considered capable of providing all nine essential amino acids needed in the body. Truffles are also an excellent source of antioxidants and compounds that aid the body system in fighting free radicals and preventing oxidative damage to the human cells.
The Winter White Truffle
The Winter White Truffle is considered the holy grail of truffles by many, including Dion Range, Managing Director of Stonebarn Truffles.
This particular variety of truffle, also known as the white Alba truffle, Italian white truffle or Piedmont truffle, has a really intense aroma and flavor.
This is despite it being really hard to cultivate. This difficulty results in scarcity and is considered the major reason for its very pricey market value. In Australia, for example, the price per kilogram has climbed over 6500 American Dollars ($AU9,000 – 5,590 Euro) and would continue to climb, as there remains very little improvement in the cultivation of this species.
What is the White truffle Flavor?
Describing the flavor and aroma of the winter white truffle, some have said it has a musky aroma and an earthy garlic-like flavor – which some of the newly initiated or uninitiated may find overwhelming. This is one of the reasons why many consider that the white truffle is best enjoyed raw and suggests it is preferably shaved in moderation over simple, home-style dishes.
The winter white truffle is mostly a light yellow and has a smooth exterior, making it more like a potato.
Discover More: What are the differences in taste between black and white truffles?