A rare Italian truffle was flown all the way to the New York auction in high security. A 2 kg weighed white truffle was sold at US$ 61000. That is why we say Truffles are the most expensive foods on earth.
World’s expensive white truffles were sold for US$ 484,000 per pound. And the largest truffles ever sold went for US$ 66,000 per pound. Gourmet Food Store sold the cheapest Truffles for US$ 3199.20 per pound.
Hmm, is this the cheapest?
There are three types of truffles found scattered in the World. The black, grey and white. Black truffles generally comes from France. These days a kilogram of Truffles costs more than 1500 Euros in the French markets.
The White Truffles comes from Piedmont and Umbria in Italy and grey truffles are found in North America.
In Asia, Chinese Black Truffle is common and some truffles are also found in India. Chinese truffles are not so expensive. Per pound it costs around US$78.
Local Truffles which are found in India costs Rs 4,000 per Kg. They grow in mountain states likes Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Darjeeling.
In Manipur, a local indigenous variety of Truffles are found locally known as Leibak Maroom. This means Egg of Soil. Almost in every hills and mountains, Leibak Maroom is found where wild edible mushrooms are grown.
Hunts for Truffles
There have been gun fights, thefts, accusations of wide spread fraud, even mysterious disappearance of highly trained dogs. Inquiries are underway across France. Scientists have been called upon to help investigation and nab the culprits.
All these investigations are conducted because of truffles. A highly fragrant tuber which many wealthy gastronomes consider the King of all Fungi.
In France, the truffles commerce has always been secretive. Truffles hunters try to avoid the taxman as much as drug dealers.
Of course, black truffles which are found only in South eastern Var and Perigord regions of France are very expensive.
These truffles are the most expensive foods in France. They are rare and depending upon weather condition, can become even rarer.
Truffles are very hard to find and grown underground and must be hunted.
Truffles are hunted by pigs and dogs
Truffles grow on the roots of truffles oaks, often less than 30 cm below the surface. To date, no one has been able to cultivate truffles.
Truffles are grown randomly in certain regions . Since they cannot be seen, specially trained pigs (sows) and dogs are employed to find this elusive tubers.
Pigs love to eat them and have a keen sense of smell. Also once they start digging, it is difficult to stop them to retrieve the truffles.
Therefore, truffles hunters prefer trained dogs that are easier to control.
The estimated size of truffles varies considerably from 10 grams to 100 grams.
Why Truffles are the most expensive foods in the World
Truffles are generally used in goose liver pates, sauces, omelets, scrambled eggs, compound butters and baked in puff pastry.
Connoisseurs consider truffles as an aphrodisiac, but there is no scientific evidence to this claim. Once, unearthed, truffles can be stored well packaged in a cool, damp place for several months.
They can also be frozen, although after thawing, textually the quality becomes unacceptably soft and mushy.
Black truffles are highly aromatic, pungent and will even penetrates eggs stored next to them, changing their taste.
Italian consider white truffles to be superior in taste to black truffles. They have a penetrating faintly garlicky aroma, with an intense flavor.
In India, not all 5 star hotels served truffles. A single serve was costing Rs 2000 some 10 years ago.
If you want to eat Truffles, you need to pay US$ 11000 per kg!