Chocolate and Truffles- what’s the difference?

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A lot of people think of chocolate when we mention a truffle hunting tour. What? Chocolate hunting? Well, some truffles are of chocolate nature but REAL truffles are actually a savory mushroom-like fungus that grows underground in the forest! Here are some quick facts about truffles:

*They spore near trees in the wild forests more notably in the regions of Tuscany, Piedmont and Abruzzo.

* Truffles range in cost from $250 to $600 a POUND. Truffles in some cases are bought and sold at auctions. May the highest bidder do the truffle shuffle.

* They are used widely in Meditteranean cuisine and are most commonly enjoyed in Italy on fresh pasta or in an egg frittata.

* Truffles, are in fact, a FUNGUS. Not a tuber but they resemble the texture of a tuber so hence why a lot of confusion is made in the culinary world.

* There are 2 most common varieties: Black and White. The Black varieties grown in the spring and summer and are the most affordable variety. Be careful when purchasing white truffle products- white truffles are scarce and very expensive- I doubt a food manufacturer can really produce a €10 jar of white truffle sauce without cutting corners and adding artificial flavorings.

How come chocolate is now confused at the mention of truffles in Italy? Well, chocolate truffles are round balls filled with a smooth center. Therefore, the name derives from the usual shape they take as the word ‘truffle’ derives from the Latin word tuber, meaning “swelling” or “lump”, which later became what we call today “truffle.” This could be another reason why truffle fungi are mistaken for tubers.

Interested in tasting the real thing? Le Baccanti Tours offers chocolate tasting tours in Florence, Turin and Bologna. Le Baccanti Tours also organizes truffle tasting activities throughout Italy, most notably in Truffle Hunt Tours in Tuscany, Alba and Piedmont. Contact us today to receive a quote for your next gourmet vacation in Italy.

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