Tasty, precious, rare, expensive. It is a food around which a whole market of words has been created, of money, almost transforming it into a legend that only reads it inside a menu. But the truffle, what is it?
Botanically Truffles are particular mushrooms belonging to the Tuber genus.
Mushrooms are organisms characterized by the lack of tissues differentiated by reproduction by spores and by the inability to feed by synthesizing inorganic molecules. There are saprophytic mushrooms, which attack and degrade non-living substances of animal or plant origin, parasitic mushrooms that feed on living organisms, sometimes bringing them to death, mutualistic mushrooms that live at the expense of other species and reciprocate their hospitality. in turn yielding useful substances such as, for example, receiving sugars and releasing mineral salts.
The species of the genus Tuber (Truffles) are mushrooms that, symbiotically associated with arboreal plants, perform the entire life cycle under the ground.
Truffle is the common name used to indicate the fruiting body of the various species, botanically classified as “sporocarp” or “carpophorus”.
Originated from the mycelium, the vegetative part of the mushrooms, consisting of filamentous cells called “ife”, the fruit is a globular cluster consisting of an outer wall called “smooth or wrinkled rind or peridium” and an internal mass ( pulp) crossed by veins that delimit alveolus, in which bag structures containing the spores are immersed.
The analysis of the characteristics of the “peridium”, of the “gleba”, of the “aschi” and of the “spores”, together with the visual examination, makes it possible to identify the species of Truffle.
The color and the smooth or wrinkled appearance of the “peridium”, together with the seasonality of the mushroom, should allow the informed consumer not to be cheated.
CALL TO ACTION
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