Food - Drink
Truffles Vs. Mushrooms: What’s The Difference?
They’re earthy, they’re rich, they add depth to any dish — they're mushrooms, but we could also be talking about truffles. Despite the similarities between these two foods, and the common explanation that truffles are a simply type of mushroom, this way of thinking erases a lot of the differences between truffles and mushrooms.
Truffles and mushrooms are part of the fungi kingdom. Technically, truffles are mushrooms, since they live in symbiosis with other organisms; absorb nutrients from decomposing matter in soil; and reproduce through spores, but in the culinary world, truffles are in a category all their own, since their flavor and price tag are exceptional.
Continuing with agricultural differences, mushrooms grow above ground and can be foraged almost anywhere, and are fairly easy to cultivate. Truffles grow underground and are extremely fickle, requiring specific moisture, minerals, and pH levels to flourish; they also must be hunted in order to be harvested, giving them a hefty price tag.
Truffles and other mushrooms are somewhat similar in flavor, due their shared earthiness, but truffles tend to be oakier and nuttier, while most mushrooms are meatier with umami flavors. Also, while most mushrooms can be enjoyed baked, fried, or sautéed, truffles are best served raw as a garnish, to savor the flavors properly.