Truffle Mushrooms: Cultivation and Benefits – How to Find It?
Truffle mushroom is the most famous and expensive mushroom in the world. It is the most expensive food after caviar. Festivals are held in 17 different cities for him in France. Some of the mushrooms, which have about 70 varieties, are offered for sale by auction. It decorates the menus of the most luxurious restaurants in the world. Its taste and smell are among the reasons that make it special. One of the reasons why it is so expensive is that it is collected in small quantities.
In countries such as France, Italy, Spain and Sweden, extensive and intensive research is carried out on truffles. Unfortunately, the value and economic importance of the self-growing mushroom species in Turkey is not known enough. Its breeding has just begun. If you want to learn about truffles, which also have medicinal properties, this article will help you.
What is Truffle Mushroom?
The truffle is a species of the mushroom family, belonging to the class Ascomycetes. In general, it grows by forming mycorrhizal partnership with oak and hazelnut trees. This mushroom, with its unique aroma and taste, is the focus of attention of world-famous chefs and cooks.
It has to be peeled off as its surface is covered with hard shells. In order not to lose its aroma, peeling can be done after the mushroom is cooked. Finding and collecting truffles, which grow under the ground and live in association with trees, is difficult compared to other types of mushrooms. It is easily consumed by animals such as dogs and pigs.
There are many varieties of mushrooms, depending on their taste, aroma and shape. It is a mushroom cultivated in many countries. Fresh truffles have a white internal structure and vary in size depending on the variety. There are varieties from the size of a pea to the size of an orange. They can weigh up to 1 kilogram.
Truffle Characteristics and Types
The following information can be presented about the characteristics of truffles: When the mushroom reaches the maturity stage, it gains a weight of 100 g. This maturity period is when it is at its most delicious. Water makes up most of its weight. If consumed while fresh, its real taste and aroma will be taken. As it waits, it loses these properties. For this reason, it should be consumed within a maximum of 4 – 5 days after collection.
It is not a type of mushroom suitable for drying. Truffle should be kept in a glass storage container and in the refrigerator so that its taste and aroma do not deteriorate. It rots easily if allowed to come into contact with water. Care should be taken to keep it dry. Truffles grow on the roots of trees they form mycorrhizal and about 5 – 20 cm below the soil and they never come to the surface. There are about 70 types of truffles, and the most expensive and delicious ones are:
- Tuber magnatum – White truffle
- Tuber melanosporum – Black winter truffle
- Tuber aestivum – Summer truffle
- tuber uncinatum
White truffle is the least common and most delicious variety. It is a mushroom that can be consumed raw. It resembles a potato with its color and structure. White truffles are mostly grown in the Piedmont region in northwest Italy.
Truffle Cultivation: Where Do Truffles Grow?
- Truffle mushroom production is quite difficult. The cultivation of this mushroom species in the world is 45% in France, 35% in Spain, 20% in Italy. In France, 20 thousand people work in the truffle cultivation business. It grows on tree roots 5 to 20 cm below the ground.
- Farming of the mushroom, which grows naturally in our country, has recently started. Although black truffle, also called black diamond, is considered the most expensive variety, white truffle is more suitable for this definition. Because there are very few.
- This type of mushroom grows in soils with a pH of 7-8 and in areas with oak and hazelnut trees. It is also possible to find it at the bottom of pine, cedar, hornbeam, beech and birch trees. There are forests where it grows in abundance in Istanbul and Thrace.
- In Turkey, truffle grows spontaneously in our provinces such as Şanlıurfa, Karaman, Konya, Malatya, Sivas and Elazığ. A few different species are also found in Bolu and Manisa.
- Truffle farms are like woodland. Young truffle seedlings are planted in November-December or March-April.
- It is not easy to find truffle seeds because it is a very expensive type of mushroom.
How Much Is Truffle Mushroom Price?
- It is a very expensive mushroom species not only for Turkey but all over the world.
- It is not possible to say anything clear in terms of truffle price in our country.
- The price characteristics are different for each mushroom, which has more than seventy varieties.
- The price of mushrooms varies in each country.
- On average, the price of a kilogram of mushrooms is in the range of 3000 – 4000 Euro.
- Since truffles are auctioned food items, they do not carry a fixed price.
- If you learn to find and collect the varieties grown in nature, you can consume them very economically.
- Bolu forests are among the most suitable areas for this.
When Are Truffles Collected?
- Specially trained truffle dogs are used to find and collect the mushroom in nature.
- The mushroom, which has a very different aroma, emits a very pleasant smell when it reaches maturity. It is easily found by trained dogs because of this scent.
- The time to search for the fungus in the natural environment is 10 to 14 days after the rain.
- In terms of harvesting, truffle seasons are spring, summer and autumn.
- It is collected after the April rains and until the end of October.
- These seasons are also suitable for farm production.
Truffle Mushroom Nutrition Facts
- Truffle mushroom, which increases body resistance with its natural antioxidant properties, contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, C, D2, E, K1, K2, Ergosterol and D2.
- It also contains carbohydrates and free amino acids that provide energy with high protein.
- It is a type of mushroom with very high nutritional value.
- With its structure containing the happiness molecule, it affects the secretion of the happiness hormone.
What Are the Benefits of Truffle Mushrooms?
- As can be understood from its nutritional values, it is a very useful food item for human health.
- Truffles are a more valuable source of protein than meat. It has a much more effective protein value than the protein in meat.
- It is a natural aphrodisiac due to its sexual power-enhancing feature.
- It is recommended for spinal cord patients. It has a strengthening effect on the spine.
- It is very effective in the treatment of cholesterol disease.
How to Cook and Consume Truffle Mushrooms?
- Truffle mushrooms, which are included in the menus of luxury restaurants as dishes with different characteristics, are consumed in more economical ways among the public. Making a truffle dish is not preferred much because mushrooms are quite expensive.
- Since white truffles can be eaten without cooking, they can be consumed by slicing thinly on salads, pastas and omelets.
- The truffle oil and cream obtained from this mushroom and carrying its aroma can also be put into food. It would be a more economical choice.
- It is widely consumed by putting it on risotto with rice or barley vermicelli.
- Due to the aroma and taste it contains, it is also suitable for meat dishes.
- It is important to consume truffles fresh without waiting too long.
- It should be consumed within a few days after collection.
- The most consumed variety is black truffle.
- It is shaped like a hexagonal tuber.
- The fleshy interior is brown.
- Oil, vodka and sauce are made from black truffles.
- It is better to consume truffles, which is an expensive food item, without cooking it much, but it can also be used easily in special recipes.