By: Ashley Reeb and the Information from “Truffle UK LTD”
These truffles are not the little chocolate things that you might give to your mom on Valentines Day, but are the things you might be walking on if you live in southern Europe, France and Italy. Truffles are edible mushrooms which establish a symbiotic relationship with the roots of suitable trees. Varieties include the Perigord Black Truffle, the Burgundy Truffle and the Cep or Porcini mushroom.
Here’s a map of all the places where the truffle grows, they are in RED!
Traditionally, pigs have been trained to find truffles but dogs are increasingly used these days. Truffle UK Ltd is able to provide dog training. Another way of finding the truffles is to observe where the truffle fly - la mouche - lays its eggs; it is believed that they choose only the finest truffle to lay its eggs on.
January :Truffles are harvested
February: Truffles are harvested through to the end of February
March: The spores germinate and produce mycorrhizes
April: The mycelium colonisies the earth and also produces mycorrhizas
May: Reproduction occurs
June: The truffles are formed
July: They slowly grow
August: They grow much faster
September :Continuing to grow
October: They start to change
November :They start to ripen
December :They are now ripe…Let’s Eat!
For centuries, truffles have been said to have mystical powers. Is that the reason why truffles are so irresistible to gourmet cooks? Or is it something else? And why do they even buy them if their more than $100? It's all in the odor of a few types of truffles. Some describe their smell as musky, earthy, and pungent, although none of these terms correctly describe the odor. Once you have smelled a truffle, you long to smell it again and again.
Truffles don't really have much of a 'taste," but the smell is so overwhelming that it infuses any meal (and often the refrigerator). The actual taste of truffles is a little bland and when sliced over food, they are chewy. It's the smell that keeps you coming back. Part of the reason is also their scarcity. Truffles are buried in the earth like little black diamonds (so nicknamed by French gastronome Brillat-Savarin). Finding them is not easy. It takes patience, persistence, and knowledge of their growing conditions.
There are tons of recipes out there that use the “truffle”, not to mention other mushrooms! But the set back of all these recipes is that their mostly all grown-up like! But there was a couple that looked cool and yummy, and this is one of them!
Black Truffle Canapes
5 thin slices firm, white sandwich bread 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 7 ounces pate with truffles* 2 to 3 tablespoons crème fraiche or sour cream Black truffle shavings
* Can substitute any good-quality pate.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush bread with melted butter and cut out approximately twenty 1 1/2- to 2-inch circles with round cookie cutter; arrange, buttered sides up, on a large baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven approximately 7 to 10 minutes or until pale golden. Remove from oven and cool completely. NOTE: Toasts may be made 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
To prepare, place thin slices of pate on each toast round. Top with crème fraiche or sour cream and truffle shavings. NOTE: You always want to maximize the truffle flavor, using the least amount of the ingredient as possible. So always slice into paper-thin wedges or strips. Use a truffle shaver (similar to a cheese grater) when shaving truffles.
Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve, but don't let sit too long as bread toasts will become soft.