5 Fun Facts about Truffles

"They can, on certain occasions, make women more tender and men more lovable" said Alexandre Dumas, one of the most widely read French authors referring to truffles. They have been revered as the “diamond of cookery”, “black pearl” and even “holy of holies for the gourmet” and people pay exorbitant prices to enjoy them. Yes, they are highly treasured. They are truffles!!! Wicked Spoon Confessions lists 5 fun facts that will make you hunt them down right away.

Image courtesy of  Fickr - Creative Commons

1. Truffles are known to be an APHRODISIAC:
Since ancient times, truffles have been touted as a fine aphrodisiac. Some say it’s the aroma, a few others claim its due to their rarity. Truffles are known to attract hungry animals to help spread their spores and the scent of truffles is similar to the male pheromone. So the next time, indulge your date in a truffle delicacy and find out yourself, maybe? :)

2. Truffles are fragrant MUSHROOMS that grow underground.
Truffles grow in harmony at roots of truffle oaks. They are rarely cultivated and are difficult to find. Trained dogs, pigs and goats are used to sniff out truffles. Wanna hunt? Perigord Truffles or Black Diamond from France, European White Truffle and Italian Black Truffle are some of the sought after Truffle varieties.

3. Mankind has been relishing Truffles for nearly 4000 years.
The ancient Greeks believed truffles were made when lightning hit soil and Egyptian ate them coated with goose fat. Romans believed in their therapeutic properties Truffles mysteriously disappeared during middle ages and came back during the Renaissance during the times of Louis XIV. Even now, mostly Truffles grow in the wild but a few varieties are cultivated in France.

4. Truffles have been featured in plays, TV Series and Comic strips.
Remember Truffles, a minor female character from the famous “Peanuts” comic strip. Wasn’t she adorable?  Chowder, an American animated TV series also had a character named Truffles and a French playwright wrote a play called Tartuffe. Such is the popularity of this gastronomic gem.

5. Truffles are most EXPENSIVE natural food.
Some consider the white truffle to be superior in taste to the black truffle but nevertheless the prices of truffles vary from 2,000 USD to 4,000 USD. In 1930’s a famed family held a “Royal Warrant” to hunt for truffles. A teenager named Ian Purkayastha built a successful business selling them to top restaurants and is known as a “Truffle Tycoon”.  Truffles have been auctioned, with highest bid going up till 4 Mn dollars…need we say more?

Image courtesy of  Fickr - Creative Commons
Feel like relishing some truffles right away? The Leela Mumbai’s signature Italian restaurant, Le Cirque shall present curated dishes made with black truffle like Truffle Fondue, Truffle Ravioli, Black Truffle Risotto and Truffle Chicken.  Guests who would like just a flavor can opt to garnish their favorite dishes available on the à la Carte menu with the shavings of the famous Black Truffle at an extra cost.

Truffle Ravioli
Image courtesy of  Fickr - Creative Commons

So visit The Leela Mumbai this monsoon and while dining on the famed truffles, impress your partner with this fun “Truffle Trivia”. Do you know more of such fun facts about truffles? Do tell us in the comments section.

The Black Truffle Limited Edition Menu at Le Cirque is available till 15th August 2015

Timings: 6:30pm to 12pm
Call: 022 66911344/45


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