Fresh Truffles



The truffle in Greece is known since antiquity under the name "'Ydnon". It was very much sought after for its pharmaceutical and aphrodisiac qualities and for its wonderful flavour and aroma. It is not a surprising fact, that a great many ancient poets and writers were inspired by it. Pliny considered truffles as "marvels of nature", while Porphyry called them "children of the gods".
The culinary use of truffle has been known in the Mediterranean countries, since ancient Greece. The kind of tubers used are the melanosporum, whose name comes from the Greek words "melani" (black) and "sporum" (seed).
The truffle is not only a food nor a flavouring, or an aroma. The truffle is a combination of all of these things. Nothing compares to that feeling you get when you take your first bite, a delicious pleasure that excites the senses, a feeling of intoxication you wish would never end. The truffle arouses our fifth ‘taste’ umami, which our tongue possesses precisely for the purpose of appreciating gastronomic marvels such as the truffle.

The very first traces of truffles appeared thousands of years ago, some time between the Babylonian culture (3000 B.C.) and the ancient Egyptians to then reappear in ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire: but that ancient object of desire was not any of the black and white truffles (Tuber magnatum e T. melanosporum), that we know today, but ‘common’ hypogeous mushrooms, terfez or sand truffles (Choiromyces meandriformis).

News had already spread, helped along by Aristotle (6th century B.C.), that truffles had a positive influence on man’s amorous capabilities, thus becoming a ‘fruit’ dedicated to Aphrodite, the (Roman) goddess of love. And the Romans considered it to be an aphrodisiac, ‘a filter through which to have their way with women’.
At the same time, scientific interest also grew. It is thanks to the Greek botanist Theophrastes that man first had any inkling as to the botanical nature of the truffle: ‘organism devoid of roots, originating from autumn rains accompanied by bolts of lightning sent by Jupiter’. The enigma of how truffles are born is to continue for centuries...
After a long period of medieval truffle silence, when the truffle fell victim to its own aphrodisiac reputation and was therefore deemed unsuitable to every day monastic life, with the advent of the refined and cultured Renaissance era, Italy and France at last discovered authentic, prized back and white truffles.

The legendary feasts of Catherine de Medici, wife of Henri II of France, in Florence and Paris featured them as a star ingredient. The prized black truffle was a great favorite with the kings of France from the Sun King Louis XIV onwards. The playwright Molière was so particular to them that he dedicated a famous play to them: ‘Tartuffe’. Napoleon, who wasn’t much of a gourmet, ate huge quantities of truffles in an attempt to add life to his unflatteringly swift and listless romantic performances

In Italy, the noble Venetians sent scouts to Spoleto to get their hands on this precious mushroom, which was an essential ingredient to 18th century Venice’s amorous nights. The rich from Piemonte, on the other hand, sought out truffles themselves, setting up farcical hunting expeditions with truffle dogs, an activity in which even sovereigns like Vittorio Amedeo II and Carlo Emanuele III partook.
The growing popularity of truffles in the country’s kitchens led to attempts at classifying them, with works written by the first botanical scientists, among whom P. A. Mattioli (16th century) who defined them as ‘round roots with no stalk, no leaves and blondish.’
But it was De Bornholz in 1827 who had the right idea (which he then consolidated with the creation of The Mushroom Kingdom): the truffle belonged neither to the animal kingdom nor to the vegetable kingdom, but to an intermediate class that touched on both. Later, many other scholars, above all Pico and Vittadini, cleared up the truffle’s systemic collocation. (LINK)
The 19th century is remembered for the ‘explosion’ of the love of truffles. The cook A. Brillat-Savarin lauded it as ‘the kitchen diamond that sweetens up women and fills men with passion,’ warning meanwhile that ‘it is a caprice: and, as such, we wouldn’t think so highly of it if it were a lot more common and cost less.’
For C. Benso di Cavour, his habitual meal was based on ‘trifule’. G Rossini invented tornadoes, medallions of beef fillet fried in a pan with butter and topped with foie gras and black truffles, then placed on toasted bread sautéed in butter. G Annunzio organised refined banquets around the truffle at his club Il Circolo della Caccia in Rome.

E. De Amicis, when he wasn’t busy describing the school environment and allowed his interest to stray to other turned matters, composed some of the lines that best describe the precious truffle: Croesus there, like a sultan / reclined in his silver chariot / swaying his blessed stomach / pregnant with truffle and pheasant.’
As we can see, the truffle has always been a food for the rich, but it was also hunted out by humble farmers among Italy’s woods: until the Second World War, most of the families living in the Apennines lived working day by day in the harvesting and threshing of grain. When the intense farming season was over, truffle season arrived, and much of the hunting took place round the edges of the newly harvested fields.
In conclusion, a modern day quote: ‘the truffle, that troglodyte mushroom that lives underground in forests, black as a witch’s cat, and as exquisite as all the perfumes of Arabia.’ These are the words of the great naturalist and writer Gerald Durrell in praise of that scented jewel of the Périgord.

The selling price of truffles, in particular of the Tuber magnatum, fluctuates from year to year, depending on the season and the climate, that then determine whether there will be a good or bad truffle year.
The price of truffles also varies during a single season, with daily fluctuations, with high points coinciding with minimum supply, which is often the case at the beginning and at the end of the season.
Prices also vary depending on the law of supply and demand that pushes prices sky high, in September, when everyone is suffering from abstinence after months without their beloved white truffles, and in December during the festive season, when every special dish deserves a shaving of truffle.
The quality of the truffle also contributes to its price: the quality depends on how mature it is, and ideally it should be perfectly mature. There are no external clues for those not expert in truffle hunting, as the truffle’s color depends on environmental factors (climate, terrain, host plant), while its scent doesn’t always belong to the specimen we are holding, and can in fact come from prolonged contact with other truffles.
For the expert truffle hunter on the other hand, the odour the truffle has as soon as it comes out of the ground, its weight, and its consistence, all help recognise a truffle of superior quality.
The truffle’s shape also affects its price: a perfectly spherical truffle is preferable to a lumpy lopsided specimen, also because it’s easier to clean.
Lastly, a truffle’s value grows in proportion to its size (average is 80-200g), just like a diamond’s.
When you want to buy a truffle, only ever trust qualified firms who are eager to win over new clients: they will serve you the best truffles, in the hope of seeing you again and again during the season, as you were satisfied with your initial purchase!



Our Wild growing Greek truffles are packed and send max 2 days after harvesting. We can send worldwide by DHL.