Buying truffles can be a difficult task, can’t it?
When you go shopping for truffles, you might be overwhelmed with the vast amount of information thrown at you. Trust me—I know all about how frustrating it can be!
When I first started becoming interested in truffles, I learned very quickly that it’s important to understand the differences between truffles. There’s a lot to learn about how they all hold up when it comes to cooking the best truffle recipe in the world or even just when putting them in a dish of scrambled eggs or pasta.
Of course, if you’re looking for the best truffles in the world, the job of hunting them down can be even more complicated! But when you go truffle shopping armed with plenty of information, you’ll know for sure which ones to buy without having to second-guess yourself at all.
And that’s where this article comes in! I’m here to teach you about the best truffles in the world so that your next shopping experience can be smooth and simple. Once you’ve read through this article, you’ll know everything you need to pick out the perfect truffles for your next incredible meal.
At the end of the article, I’ll also give you a few tips for buying truffles, as well as some info on the best way to eat truffles. Stick around for tons of info to help you get started in the world of amazing high-quality truffles!
The simple answer to this common question is that truffles are kind of like fancy mushrooms. But there’s so much more to them than that! Technically, a truffle isn’t exactly a mushroom at all, although it is a fungus that’s closely related to them. It isn’t a part of the mushroom family, but it does grow like most fungi. It requires a lot of moisture and damp, dark soil to thrive. It’s also very picky and probably won’t grow if the soil doesn’t have the perfect pH and isn’t exposed to all four seasons fairly equally.
Truffles are usually used in cooking, although in recent years they’ve been turning up more and more frequently in skin and health care products as well. Whenever a real truffle is used as an ingredient in anything, that product is bound to be pretty pricey. If you see something claiming that it contains truffles and still doesn’t cost a lot of money, it probably has been chemically altered to have the flavor of a truffle without actually including any.
Because of their rarity and how complicated it is to cultivate them, truffles remain a very expensive and highly sought after product that many chefs strive to use whenever possible.
Determining which types of truffles are the best in the world can be a little tough, especially because of the wide variety of truffles in existence. Although they’re all pretty hard to find growing wild, and most are difficult to cultivate as well, there are still quite a few truffle variations that can make shopping for these ingredients even more challenging.
Among the many different types of truffles, you can find the two best kinds. However, it’s also important to know a little bit about truffles in general. Below, I’ll outline the other kinds of truffles you can purchase, and why they fall just a little bit short of being the best.
The most incredible type of truffle in the world is the Alba white truffle. When you think of expensive truffles that are very valuable and hard to find, this is the type of truffle that should come to mind. They’re incredibly rare, and their flavor is like nothing else in the world of cooking ingredients. But just what makes them such unique and prized products?
For starters, the Alba white truffle only grows in very specific parts of the world, and only at certain times of the year. The Alba region of Italy is home to this amazing truffle, and it can only be harvested during the late fall and early winter. When removed from the tree’s roots too early, this truffle will have no flavor at all. When removed too late, it will be rotten and mushy, and completely lacking in any desirable qualities. Picking the truffle at just the right time can be very tricky.
To this day, an Alba white truffle holds the record for the most expensive truffle ever sold. The truffle in question weighed 3.3 pounds and went at auction for one hundred thousand dollars per pound—or a total of $330,000. Nothing else has ever come close to selling for that much money in the world of cooking ingredients!
Alba white truffles don’t give off the same pungent smell that black truffles do, so they can be even harder to find without the use of dogs or pigs. Unfortunately, pigs tend to eat them when they do find them, so people usually rely on dogs to help them find these prizes. While the dogs don’t often contribute to the destruction of the truffles, it’s still next to impossible to remove one from a tree’s roots without doing some damage to it. This is why perfect specimens, like the expensive one that sold for so much at auction, can be almost priceless in value.
The flavor of an Alba white truffle is much different than anything else. It tastes a little bit like dirt and musk, with a large garlic flavor as well. Some people believe the Alba white truffle tastes like onions, while still others claim it tastes like seafood. Its smell is very much like ammonia and body odor, but this doesn’t carry over into the taste at all. The full, impressive flavor of a real Alba white truffle can add so much to a dish that chefs need only use small amounts of shaved or grated truffle to get the most out of this expensive ingredient.
There are other types of white truffles available on the market as well. They are also found in Europe, and can be located throughout Italy, parts of France, and Croatia. They’re still incredibly rare, but those that don’t come from the Alba region don’t have quite the same level of flavor or prestige. Nevertheless, a non-Alba winter white truffle is still likely to sell for a lot of money.
There are a few similarities between Alba and Perigord truffles, but there are even more differences. These truffles are among the best in the world, and although they aren’t quite as valuable as the Alba truffle, they’re still very expensive and sought after on the truffle market. Among the black truffle varieties, they are by far the priciest and most desirable.
Perigord black truffles come from the Perigord region of France. They’re a winter variety, so they are usually harvested in the later part of the winter. January and February usually produce some of the best Perigord black truffles. If they’re harvested too soon, they don’t have much of a taste. Harvesting them too late means they’ll be too tough and impossible to eat. It can be hard to get them at the right time, however, because the ground tends to freeze too hard to dig by this time of the year.
Perigord truffles have a deep, earthy, musky smell, but they don’t have the type of ammonia aroma that Alba truffles sometimes have. Their flavor is much stronger overall and has been likened to chocolate and red wine with a hint of soil and nuttiness. It’s just as hard to find perfect specimens of these truffles as it is with Alba truffles and for much the same reasons. Because of this, and because of how rare the Perigord truffle is to find, it sells for hundreds of dollars per truffle, depending on the quality of the individual specimen.
Like the Alba truffle, the Perigord truffle also has a slightly lower quality version. The winter black truffle is almost the same as a Perigord black truffle, but it is found in other parts of Europe outside of the Perigord region. It’s located throughout France, as well as in certain parts of England and Italy. It doesn’t have as strong of a flavor, and it isn’t as valuable simply because of where it can be found. This type of truffle still sells for a pretty hefty sum, but its price is usually much lower than that of a Perigord black truffle.
Shopping for truffles can be tricky! Keep these tips in mind to pick a quality truffle specimen every time you go looking.
Both types of high-quality truffles have different methods of cooking that make them taste great and showcase their flavor and texture. Check out these tips to give you some suggestions for the next time you plan to taste test a truffle.
It’s time to go shopping! Now that you’ve read through this article, you should have all the information you need to go looking for the best truffles in the world. Although you might have to shell out quite a lot of money to get perfect samples of the best varieties of truffle on the market, you have a few options to help you save a little along the way. If you can’t afford full-size fresh Alba or Perigord truffles, be sure to look around for frozen whole ones or jarred slices instead.
Remember, too, that if you buy a truffle product such as truffle butter or oil, you probably won’t be experiencing the incredible flavor that comes along with these two top truffles. These products, when they are made with real truffles at all, are usually put together with lower quality ingredients that still taste very good, but can’t measure up to their most valuable counterparts.
Now that you know all about the top types of truffles in the world, you can make a well-informed decision the next time you go shopping. Keep all of this information in mind, and remember the best ways to eat these truffles, too. Pretty soon, you’ll be enjoying incredible truffles with your meals all the time!