Food - Drink
The Difference Between White And Black Truffles
Truffles have been enjoyed in food for centuries, but out of the approximately 180 types of truffles that we know of today, only 13 of them are of any culinary use. The black truffle from France and the white truffle from Italy are the most expensive and sought-after edible truffles on the market, but these mushrooms are quite different.
Eataly describes the black truffle as "earthy and robust," and its flavor is so sought after that many products replicate it using synthetic ingredients. Black truffles were once only found in European regions around the Mediterranean, and though cultivation is now possible, these prized mushrooms still cost between $300 to $800 per pound.
The white truffle has a pungent flavor and aroma that one British journalist described as "halfway between that of a smoked cheese and strong mushroom." White truffles cannot be cultivated and can only be found in a Northern Italian forest called Langhe between September to December, making them as expensive as $4,000 per pound.
Bon Appétit warns that white truffles have an extremely short shelf life of just a few days, which is shorter than the shelf life of black truffles, which is about one week. Both species of truffle can only grow at the roots of trees such as oak, hazel, and beech, and the two plants supply each other with nutrients in a relationship known as mycorrhiza.