Tag Archives: truffles

Chocolate and Truffles- what’s the difference?


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.


Truffles and Truffle Hunting in Italy


Truffles are not fungi (i.e. mushrooms) like a lot of people think, but are instead a tuber much like yams, potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes! They grow in a few regions of the world, mostly Italy and France, but you can find them in the United States now as well. Truffles are a truly luxury gourmet item and can be as expensive as gold! A fresh grated truffle over pasta or bruschetta is an unforgettable gastronomic experience everyone should indulge in at least once in their life. You can slice them, salt them, infuse them in oil or shave them on your favorite Italian dish. Their earthy flavors are pretty intense so be wise when decorating your plate with them- meaning don’t use truffles to season a dish already rich in powerful flavors or you will loose the point. You can purchase truffle products in the following forms: truffle salt, truffle oil, truffle sauce (usually mixed with minced mushrooms and oil), truffle cream (bits of truffle mixed in with butter and parmesan cheese), truffle cheese, truffle paste and whole truffles. There are 2 main varieties: black and white and the white truffles are thought to be the most delicate and hard to find, which also means the most expensive.

Here are some ideas for your truffle products:

* Popcorn with truffle salt and garlic infused butter or olive oil (or even without oil!)

* Homemade pizza with your choice of roasted mushrooms and truffle cheese

* Gnocchi with a black truffle cream sauce- make a cream sauce and add in a couple spoonfuls of a black truffle sauce. Top with a snippit of parsley.

* Sweet potato fries drizzled in truffle oil

Interested in learning more about truffles…or better yet hunting your own? We have the perfect truffle solution with our guided Truffle hunts in either Alba or Tuscany– both prized Italian truffle regions!

Le Baccanti Tours is a luxury travel company located in Tuscany, Italy. We have been specializing in gourmet food, wine and cultural tours of Italy for over 10 years. We pride ourselves on showing our discerning group of clients the authentic and beautiful Italy of their dreams. Contact us or visit our website to learn more.