“During dinner under the stars on a balmy September night near La Garde-Adhémar in the French region of Drôme Provençale, our hosts regaled us with captivating tales of a local treasure.”

From that moment, as we journeyed from Grignan to Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, we voraciously collected snippets of information about a holy grail of gourmet gastronomy, la truffe noire – the black truffle.

Here are 10 funghi facts (or Tuber truths) we picked up along the way:

  • The Tricastin / Pays de Grignan area is the world’s main source of black truffles.
  • Like mushrooms, truffles belong to neither plant nor animal kingdoms. They reproduce through spores.
  • In France, the word truffe can also mean a person who is naïve (a polite way of putting it).
  • During the Middle Ages, la truffe noire was considered a no-no by the Church. As they were “black as a damned soul”, eating truffles was considered to be dabbling with the devil.
  • They exude an aroma of dry mushrooms, dank forests and humus – not the chickpea and tahini dip, but the organic whiff from natural woodland waste.
  • Dogs or pigs are used to …
Read full article - published on The Slow Lane March 2019