Truffles are a fungi that grow predominantly in the shade of oak trees, and are sought after for their “umami” flavour, with delicious earthy notes that truly tantalise your tastebuds.
Where do truffles originate?
Truffles grow and can be found all over the world, with rich areas of growth in the Italian and French countryside. Other areas include South Africa, the US, other countries in Europe, and Asia.
They are “hunted” down in their environments by either dogs or truffle pigs.
TYPES OF TRUFFLES
Truffles come, as expected, in different types and tastes, depending on their origin and growing conditions. The graphic below shows the 8 most recognised truffle types.
The black truffle is most common, according to Wide Open Eats, and is available for six to nine months a year. It has a stronger taste and pungent aroma that often needs acquiring.
Because they are in season so much longer than most, these truffles are both cheaper and more available than other types.
White truffles are the Earth’s Gold, commonly valued at thousands of dollars per kilogram. They are a big industry internationally, but they have a short shelf-life and only grow for three to four months of the year.
They are best eaten as soon as possible, should you be lucky enough to have the opportunity.
Do truffles Grow in South Africa?
Cultivation of truffles in South Africa is not a widespread activity, but we’ve have a small subset of truffle growers coming up in the past few years. South Africa’s first Black Diamond truffle was unearthed in 2015 in Dullstroom.
Most often, our truffles are imported from Italy for consumption in restaurants like ours, around South Africa.
THE TRUFFLE APPRECIATION EVENING: 16 July 2019
Join us on 16 July for a night to remember. We’ll be partnering with The Good Food Merchants and Reciprocal Wines to bring you a gastronomic delight from our kitchen. Chef Alexander Webber will incorporate the finest truffles and beautiful wines into your dining experience, perfectly showcasing this beautiful, rare ingredient.