The Truffle Story
Many people are aware of an edible subterranean fungus called a truffle that was harvested with the help of pigs. To the epicure, it is considered a delicacy. Tuber and Tuber Magnatum, the black truffle, is found in Perigord, France. Truffles are round, about 1 to 2 inches in diameter, pungent, have a wrinkled surface and grow in symbiotic relationship with the roots of large trees in calcareous soil. They are harvested from the beginning of December to late January. Today, dogs are used to locate truffles because they are less likely to eat their find.
The Truffle became popular late in the 15th century and is often used as a flavor for sauces and as a garnish. Due to their scarcity, truffles remain extremely expensive.
How do we get from fungus to chocolate?
A European confectioner mixed chocolate and heavy cream together to form ganache - a thick, creamy mass that was the center of a truffle. The ganache or center was then shaped into small spheres, dipped in chocolate and then rolled in cocoa powder on a wire rack. These chocolates looked much like the fungus. Because of their similar appearance, rarity, and the status they share as delicacies, these confections became known as truffles.
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