Latin name: Tuber melanosporum
The truffle is a spherical mushroom which grows near the roots of certain types of trees. Truffles are mainly found in France, Italy and Spain. Pigs or specially trained dogs are used to locate this underground fungus.
The truffle is the most exclusive type of fungus and is widely used in top restaurants. Nowadays truffles are increasingly sold through the retail channel as well as through the catering trade.
There are three sorts of truffles: the Summer Truffle, the Winter Black Truffle and the White Truffle. The grey-brown or grey-black Summer Truffle is the least aromatic and the cheapest. There are many varieties of Winter Black Truffle.
Flavour and use
Truffles have an extremely intense, earthy aroma and a highly distinctive flavour. They are therefore regarded as a particular delicacy. In terms of price and prestige, truffles are in the same category as luxury delicacies like caviar and pâté de foie gras.