Truffle Questions and Answers
What are Truffles?
Truffles are underground fungi. Truffles are highly prized in the culinary world, for their aromatic flavors, and have been known as the "Diamond of the Kitchen." Truffles have been used for centuries and have been known to have aphrodisiac effects and healing or medicinal properties. For more information, visit our What are Truffles page.
Aren't truffles chocolate?
There are chocolate truffles, but truffles are underground fungi, some of which are a rare delicacy. However, the chocolate truffle is thought to have been an accident created by an assistant of French culinary giant, Auguste Escoffier. He accidentally poured hot cream into a bowl of chocolate chunks. He worked the chocolate paste to form a bumpy, lopsided ball and rolled it in cocoa powder. His accidental creation resembled a black truffle, and chocolate truffles were born. Today, many forms of chocolate truffles can be found with varying flavors, fillings and coatings.
What makes truffles special?
Truffles are rare to find, harvest, and cultivate, and the supply of truffles has declined significantly over the past century. Truffles have a powerful aroma and flavor like nothing else. They have been used for their rare, powerful flavors in the kitchens of royalty since they were discovered.
Truffle aroma mimics pheromones of male animals, and is one reason truffles are thought of as an aphrodisiac. As well, truffles have been used for hundreds of years for their medicinal properties. Some studies have shown that truffles may lower cholesterol, control blood sugar, reduce inflammation, protect your liver, fight bacterial infections, and help prevent cancer (S. Booth & K. Zelman 2021). They are also known to be rich in important nutrients like protein, 9 essential amino acids, micronutrients, and more (R. Link 2018).
Where do truffles grow?
Truffles are known to grow naturally in the regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea (i.e. Italy, Croatia, Spain, France, and more).
Since the decline in truffle production, following the world wars, truffles cultivation has become an ever important piece to maintaining production of this delicacy, and places like Australia and North America are becoming hot beds for truffle growers.
Where can I find truffles in the United States?
Some of the most documented success for growing truffles in the United States has been in North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Truffletopia has a truffle farm in Pittsboro, North Carolina which will come into production of local, US grown truffles, in the near future.
How much do truffles cost?
The price of truffles varies and is highly dependent on the species, size, and truffle production that year. Different species of truffles have different attributes, aromas, and flavors which make them more desirable.
The Tuber Mangnatum or Italian White Truffle sold for an average price of $3,360.16 USD per pound in 2019, and it has had peaks of nearly $4,500 USD per pound in Q4 2019 and Q1 2020.
The Tuber Borchii, also known as the Bianchetto White Truffle or the Whitish Truffle sells for around $950 USD per pound.
The Tuber Indicum, better known as the Chinese Black Truffle, the Asiatic Truffle, or more simply the Chinese Truffle, on the other hand commands an average price just over $5 USD per ounce, and sometimes they can be purchased as low as $8 - $20 USD per pound.
There are many types of truffles, so it is important to understand that supply and demand play a large role in the actual cost, and prices are subject to change at any time.
Where can I purchase truffles?
We are a local distributor of fresh truffles, located between the Research Triangle and Piedmont Triad areas, in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Our goal is to provide our clients with the freshest truffles in a timely manner. We provide fresh truffles in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and many more cities in the surrounding area. Visit our shop to buy fresh truffles, truffle products, and more!
We have our own truffle farm, and in the near future we will provide you with our fresh, locally grown truffles. Follow us on our journey, and you can be one of the first to experience our locally grown truffles.
Why is it so expensive to ship fresh truffles?
At Truffletopia, we pride ourselves on only providing the freshest truffles. In turn, we use UPS Next Day Air, and our packaging methods and supplies ensure your truffles stay fresh on their journey to your home. This is an essential part of the process to provide you with the freshest truffles possible.
How do I store my truffles?
We always recommend truffles be consumed as soon as possible. This ensures the best possible aromas and flavors. However, this is not always possible, so we have provided a comprehensive Storage Guide including storage techniques, recommendations, and tips to assist you in making the most of your fresh truffles.