The untold truth of truffles
The truffle has been synonymous with fine dining for a long time, chiefly the winter black truffle of southern France and the winter white truffle found in Italy's Piedmont region. While these are the most famous and sought after, there are many varieties of truffles around the world with varying levels of virtue ascribed to them. For true aficionados, truffles have an almost transcendental quality.
Author Paula Wolfert described her first taste of a black truffle as "like earth and sky and sea. I felt at one with nature, that my mouth was filled with the taste of the earth. There was a ripeness, a naughtiness, something beyond description … it was utter luxury and earthiness combined." As can be expected of such a vaunted foodstuff, truffles have a complicated history and modern mysteries in abundance.