The Earth Black Diamond

Truffles are not exactly the most democratic product in the world. The truffle has always decorated the festive tables of the rich rather than the tables of the general population, for they are expensive-too expensive even for some. This is why, these last few years, various product were put on the market as alternatives to the known species of black and white truffles...Unfortunately, they are nothing more than an insult to the noble and unequaled fresh truffle. Let's not digress. Whoever doesn't know truffles, or doesn't want to know about them, will not generally find anything interesting about these strange, dirty and warty tubers. More over, these mushrooms, since this is really about mushrooms, cost a fortune! there are, however, big differences between truffles and ordinary mushrooms, even if it's only the way in which they grow: mushrooms grow in the open air,while truffles remain buried underground. Their spores are not dispersed by the wind, as is the case with mushrooms, but by insects or worms or even by wild animals, attracted to their penetrating odor. The truffle is, in fact, the fruit, in the form of a tuber, which grows underground.
Truffles grow beneath specific species of trees, like oak, poplar, beech or hazelnut. It's a wide spread mistake - and probably linked to the noble image of the oak - to believe that you can only find them under this particular tree. Since mushrooms, contrary to plants, do not produce chlorophyll, they are dependent on a host, and nature made it so that mushrooms and tree do not compete with one another. Truffles are courteous: they don't disturb their host; even better, they live in symbiosis with it. This symbiosis is called mycorrhiza. The mushrooms consumes important organic substances produced by the tree, which, for its part, uses the spores of the mushrooms to absorb more easily the water and nutrients in the soil. All this seems, no doubt, a little complicated. Just remember that the truffle needs the tree and vice-versa. Without each other, they are lost. Except for summer truffles, most grow in the fall and winter. Some are black, others white. Both black

( Tuber melanosporum) and white (like the Tuber magnatum) can be found. The color of Tuber melanosporum and its relatives is highly unusual for a living plant. The fact that most Tubers does not reach maturity until the cold season is also peculiar. The truffle thrives when others die. This is another detail that make it special. Legend has it that ruffle were sought after using pigs. In the past, even we have walked in the "Perigord" with one these animals. But today, pigs are no longer taken out of the stable except to please photographers or reporters. Even the French stopped using them a few years ago.Dog are more efficient easily to train them to recognized the intense odor, and plus they will not eat them like pigs will do. Truffles were introduced to dinners and special events in northern region of Italy and France after 1533, like the marriage ceremony oft Cattheryne de Medici and the Duke of Orleans, the future Henry II. A few Italian cooks followed her to France, where they served huge quantities of truffles during the feasts that she organized. Truffle where considered aphrodisiacs at that time. It has to be said that this was the case for a number of exotic foods, like the tomato, nicknamed the love apple ( and which is still called on the Island of Mauritius).
The truffle is not a true aphrodisiac; but in certain circumstances it can make women more affectionate and men more attentive. Truffles has remained a classic of gastronomy until today. it's because of quality that must speak to every gourmet, namely its subtle humor.
The 19th century was the golden age of the truffle in France. The fungus was no longer a luxury product and was cultivated from then on.
The first Truffle grower was Joseph Talon in 1808. Others followed so much so that, given the mixed success of wine harvest over the years, truffle growing represented a valid alternative and a sure investment. In the pass Europe for holiday gourmet event they used to sliced over Champagne, I'm sure that few people can afford to do it today. The result of great recipe with Truffle is quality and quantity is extremely important when you cooking with this product. For example a savvy gourmet Chef knows the a omelet or risotto crushed under the weight of truffles loses all its culinary virtues. Toast spread with lightly salted butter and garnished with a thin slice of Black truffle (Tuber malanosporum) preserves them.
But I want to finish my lens on truffle with a return to explain about how this particular mushrooms form in our nature earth.
Like I mention in a paragraph above about the "Mycorrhiza" which is basically the relation ship from the plant to the mushrooms to extract food from the soil and receives, in exchange, carbohydrates. This relationship between the plant, mushroom and soil is extremely complex. They are two type of "mycorrhiza". The first case, the mushrooms grows in the root of the plant, which serves as the host, and does not form any visible fruit. In the second (ectomycorhiza), it forms a shell around the root, like a glove, then creates a network cells and protects the root from disease. An "ectomycorrhizal" mushrooms modifies the structure and the chemistry of the soil. The truffle belong to this category. The black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) traditionally gets rid of all the plants that encroach on its cellular system.
The maturation process of the truffle depend on the variety. The Black Truffle (Tuber melanosporum matures in the hearth of winter; the white, Italian truffle, (Tuber magnatum), in November and December; the summer truffle (Tuber aestivum), between June and the fall; and the the Tuber uncinatum, mainly during the autumn. The truffle cycle begin in the spring.
Before even the tree blooms, its roots are growing and the mycorrhiza is in place.

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