Truffles Date Back to the Ancient Romans and Greeks
The allure and mystery surrounding the delicacy of truffles still captivates even the most seasoned chocolate connoisseur. The allure of the tantalizing taste and distinct rich aroma is irresistible as it is enjoyed and shared; little is understood of this delicacy deepening the mystery of what is or is not a truffle.
As far back as three thousand years, the ancient Romans and Greeks entertained with truffles, they even thought truffles possessed a theraeutic quality. Since they were rare and hard to harvest, they were mostly enjoyed by royalty and the upper classes, and almost always found at their ceremonies and gala events. As far back as the middle ages, truffles were thought to be evil; part of a witches brew, and were banned, during which time so few people marketed them or even consumed them. Truffles emerged later during the Renaissance, a time when Louis XIV assumed power and ascended to the throne, who made it his personal quest to bring truffles back, advancing them to the foreground of one of Europe’s most stylish, trendsetting and respected dishes.
The Underground Mushroom
Truffles are the fruiting body of the underground mushroom; they typically grow in close association with the roots of trees forming a true symbiotic relationship. There are different varieties, and are found around oak, birch, pine, and a few other varieties of trees. They vary in size and shape, and may resemble the irregular shape of potatoes. It is true that there are specially trained female truffles pigs with their very keen sense of smell can detect and sniff out the potent smell of truffles that lies beneath the surface. Truffles can also be harvested with the aid of a certain specially trained breed of dog that is able to sniff out truffles as well.
It is essential that truffles are cleaned well to remove all traces of soil, rinsed with water, even brushed to clean the outside. Truffles can be eaten raw with pasta, fried eggs, or salads, or with any number of your favorite dishes. They can be finely or coarsely grated and added to soups, sauces, soufflés, rice, as well as practically any meat dish. The exotic taste and enticing aroma of truffles makes a very delectable butter, when grated and mixed in softened butter to your desired taste, and can be kept frozen until use. The culinary use of truffles is limited only by your imagination.
Chocolate Truffles Mystery Unlocked
It might surprise many that chocolate truffles, or the many varieties of the delectable chocolate delight, do not contain any part of the underground mushroom that is harvested by pigs or dogs. It is actually a ganache, which is a mixture of a heavy crème and sweet, semi-sweet or other types of chocolate. The mixture is heated to a boil, and when cooled is formed into the desired shape. The original or basic chocolate truffles is typically round and coated with cocoa powder, which resembles earth, or freshly harvested mushroom truffles, henceforth, the tempting chocolate creation was called truffles, and the name became synonymous with the chocolate delicacy that was associated with luxury or the upper class. Chocolate truffles are more than eye-candy, the tantalizing and ever so decadent treat ranges from the basic to a liquor-based chocolate treat. There many types of truffles; they are made with different nuts, different types of chocolate, even the basic ingredients for the ganache can vary, depending on who is creating it. Go ahead and pamper yourself, the smooth delicious treat that seduces the palate will not disappoint, only leave you wanting for more.