What Makes Truffles So Expensive?

18 Aug 2021

The reason truffles, rather unassuming lumps of fungus that belong to the Tuber category, are so expensive is because they're so rare. It is therefore sought after by chefs, as well as those with a refined enough palate to appreciate what they are eating when they taste one. 

There is a reason why you'll never find truffles in your local supermarket — truffles are finicky about where they like to grow (underground, near roots of trees like oak, pine, and birch) and extremely sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Because of the time and effort, it takes to find and harvest a fully developed truffle, whether it is found in Australia, the Middle East, or even certain areas of the United States, it ranks as one of the most expensive foods in the world. 

Despite ongoing efforts to grow truffles under controlled conditions (which involves planting trees that truffles grow under and crossing our fingers), success rates have been very low. Truffles can be difficult to forage for in the wild because they are rarely found in huge batches. They are often located only by trained dogs. For a long time, female pigs were the go-to animal for truffle hunting. It is this hormone, androstenol that is detected by truffle-hunting shows; it is found in the saliva of male pigs. What is the main issue here? Pigs. They will eat everything, including truffles.

However, it is still not easy. Since truffle farms thrive in a narrow range of weather conditions, truffle farms face formidable challenges. Black truffles, for example, require mild winters, no frost, warm summers (but no hot weather), and dry winters. As a result, truffle lovers need to wait for the particular season to enjoy their favourite dish. 

When it comes to their unique scent and taste, truffles are made up of a combination of chemicals that gives them their particular smell. For the fact, a chemical known as pheromones is released by truffles and affects mammals and insects. In both mammals and humans, androstenol serves as a steroidal pheromone. 

Additionally, truffles can be cooked, but usually, they are grated or sliced paper-thin, then they are placed on food to smell their aroma. Many chefs add truffle flavouring to their food by placing them in closed containers. It doesn't take much, since a little goes a long way. 

Many people use truffle oil instead of truffles, which is made by synthesising the aroma of black truffles infused in cooking oil such as olive oil. The best way to use it is as a finishing oil over prepared foods such as eggs, potatoes, cooked vegetables, or pasta. You can even get French fries treated this way. You might also find it difficult to find truffle oil that is made from real truffles. Truffles exist, but they're usually in oils scented with chemicals (not the truffles themselves) found in truffles. 

Whilst truffles are recognised for their fragrance, they also have nutritional value, which is the same for all types of truffles. The severity varies depending on the circumstances in which it manifests. Among the most nutritionally dense mushrooms, truffles are one of the best options. Their proteins are made up of methionine, cysteine, and lysine. Truffles contain phosphate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron, chlorine, silicone, and amino acids. 

So, if you really enjoy truffles, Truffle Hill has some of the best truffle products in the country, including raw truffles. Visitors may learn firsthand how truffles are cultivated, searched, evaluated for maturity, and harvested during a winter truffle hunt at Truffle Hill. Take part in a truffle hunt. Truffle Hill is one of the few truffleries in the world that welcomes a limited number of guests to participate in a winter truffle hunt and see how truffles mature, grow, and are harvested.