Truffles. One of the rarest, most prized delicacies in the world and often associated with fine dining and the quintessential definition of haute living. With as many as 70 varieties of truffles known to man, it’s hardly child’s play when it comes to discerning their unique set of characteristics and qualities. That’s where we come in.
Haute Living recently took you on a mini-educational tour of truffle and wine pairing suggestions from chefs around the world, and now we’d like to get you acquainted with a few specific truffles.
The Italian White Piedmont Truffle is a true example of the extreme rarity that is a truffle. Found almost exclusively in northern Italy and Yugoslavia high up in the mountains and foot hills, the Italian white truffle may be one of the most prized, and expensive, truffles of all. With a light beige color when fresh and a distinct peppery quality, the Italian white truffle grows alongside Poplar, Beech, Hazelnut, and Oak trees.
The French Black Perigord Truffle originates from the oak forests of the Perigord region of central and southwestern France, however, fortunately for truffle enthusiast, they can actually now be found in other regions such as Spain, Australia, and even the United States. With a black or dark blue exterior coloring when fresh, these truffles have a pungent, earthy scent and are also among the world’s most valued truffles.
Available in a multitude of colors, Oregon Truffles are found in the Pacific Northwest and are usually associated with stands of Douglas fir trees. Found in white, brown, and black varieties and each obtaining its own unique characteristics, these truffles typically have a very strong garlic odor.
Originally found in France, Italy and Spain, the Burgundy or Summer Truffle can now also be found in Sweden and New Zealand. Mostly found in the mid-summer months, these truffles have a light scent with a black or burgundy exterior and a significantly lighter interior making them somewhat easier to identify.
Falling into the substantially more affordable category of truffles is the Chinese Truffle, which, native to Southern China, has a fairly mild aroma.