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truffle

(trŭf`əl) [Fr.], subterranean edible fungus that forms a mutually beneficial (symbiotic) relationship with the roots of certain trees and plants. The part of the fungus used as food is the ascoma, the fruiting body of the fungus. The best-known truffles are the black, or Périgord Tuber melanosporum, and the white, T. magnatum, both found chiefly in W Europe. Their flavor is piquant and aromatic, and they have been esteemed as a delicacy from ancient times; recipes for their use are found in Greek and Roman writings.

The black truffles found in the forests of Périgord, France, have been highly regarded since the 15th cent., and their collection and cultivation is an important industry. Traditionally hunted with pigs, they are now mainly found by dogs, which can be trained to "point" for truffles and have the distinct advantage of not being truffle eaters. Black truffle cultivation has been somewhat successful since the late 20th cent.; it requires the inoculation of the roots of a seedling of its host plants, oak, hazel, and other deciduous trees, with fungal spores. The prized white truffle, harvested primarily in central and N Italy as well as in parts of S France, Croatia, and Slovenia, is more expensive and has not been successfully cultivated.

Besides the well-known white and black truffles, there are hundreds of other species, all mycorrhizae, fungi in a symbiotic relationship with plant roots. The summer, or burgundy, truffle, T. aestivum, a black truffle widely found in Europe, is most often associated with beech trees and is also prized for culinary use. T. indicum, a black truffle exported from China, where it grows on pine and chestnut roots, is regarded as inferior to the Périgord and summer truffles. The tasty Oregon white truffle, T. oregonense, grows on the roots of the Douglas fir tree, which is dependent upon the fungus for its mineral nutrition. Truffles are widespread in distribution and are found in a wide variety of habitats.

Truffle

 

an ascomycetous. fungus with a fleshy, tuberous subterranean fruiting body. Most truffles belong to the order Tu-berales. They grow in forests as saprophytes or form mycorrhizae with tree roots. Some of the fruiting bodies resemble marble in cross section.

There are a few edible species of truffles. The most valuable is the very aromatic Tuber brumale, which is black and warty on the outside and dark gray or reddish black with light veining on the inside. Tuber brumale grows in oak and beech groves, mainly in southern France and northern Italy, where it has great commercial value. The species Choiromyces meandriformis, whose light-fleshed fruiting body resembles a potato in form and size, grows in the forests of Western Europe, the western USSR, and Moscow Oblast. Truffles of the genus Terfezia, which belong to the order Plectascales, include a number of edible species but are of less value than Tuber brumale. They grow in Southern Europe, North Africa, and Southwest Asia, as well as in the Azerbaijan and Turkmen SSR’s of the USSR.

Inedible basidial fungi of the genus Scleroderma of the order Gastromycetes, whose fruiting bodies are in the form of rounded or elongated yellow tubers 3–10 cm long, are sometimes erroneously called truffles. The fungi are found in forests and parks. Their fruiting bodies have an unpleasant odor and initially are solid, with a black interior and light veining; the interior later disintegrates.

truffle

[′trəf·əl]
(botany)
The edible underground fruiting body of various European fungi in the family Tuberaceae, especially the genus Tuber.

truffle

indicates the unexpected. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 178]

truffle

any of various edible saprotrophic ascomycetous subterranean fungi of the European genus Tuber. They have a tuberous appearance and are regarded as a delicacy
References in periodicals archive ?
The sous vide duck was perched on top of truffled carrot puree and wilted spinach, drizzled with aged truffle balsamic and capped with dehydrated buttered popcorn.
Magnolia cupcakes are a heavenly treat of Red Velvet, Devil's Food, Coconut, Lemon, Caramel, Banana, Hummingbird, Carrot, German, Pumpkin, Truffled Chocolate, Sno-cap, S'mores, Orange, Snickerdoodle and Gingerbread.
Or try smoked haddock with truffled leeks, spinach and cheese puff pastry But best of all, try wild mushroom ragout, served with sweet potato mash and pine kernel crust.
FOR his extraordinary winning meal, MasterChef champion Tim Anderson served up monkfish liver and Kyushu-style pork ramen with truffled lobster.
On Wednesday's final they lavished praise on Tim's bizarre menu which included Tri-City Sliders, Monkfish Liver, Kyushu-style Pork Ramen with Truffled Lobster and a trio of classic British desserts.
Fontina is fine here, but if you can splurge on truffled cheese, you won't regret it.
Starters include a Gruyere and leek tart with truffled baby spinach for pounds 6.
The book is amply worth reading, however, because as a BBC producer with an astute eye and generous resources, Rees has truffled out eye-witnesses in eastern Europe and Russia who have graphic accounts to tell about the Soviet rape of eastern Poland, the Katyn massacre, and the repression of wartime Soviet life generally.
Sitting pretty' is not a phrase I like, but it is hard to think of other verbiage to describe a recumbent posture when within shouting distance of weekly deliveries of truffled goose liver and enough dosh to shower in Krug champagne for the rest of one's life.
Celebrities paid $2,500 (BD945) to $10,000 each to dine on grappa-cured salmon, wild striped bass, tart of goat cheese, foraged mushrooms, truffled mashed potatoes and sticky toffee pudding with creme fraiche.
50) -- or with two very good side dishes: truffled brussels sprouts ($5), and a potato gratin with Parmesan and Gruyere cheese ($5).
Dishes like beef filet with truffled mashed potatoes, buffalo mozzarella with pesto, and spring chicken with risotto are designed to be light but not leave you hungry.