The world of umami and earthiness continues to be reigned over by one ingredient and has been so for about a thousand years. Truffles always have been and continue to be this mystic ingredient that baffles some and is a must have pantry item for some. So what is the mystery behind this ingredient? What dictates the prices of this premium fungus and why does the history matter? Let’s find out.
The first testimony of truffles being used in human history comes from Europe and can be found in the Naturalis Historia by Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD). The term truffle has a Latin origin terrae tuber which means outgrowth from the earth. Through the various centuries, the use of truffles has been in and out of history books owing its truancy to the tumultuous Dark and Middle Ages. There were times when truffles were outlawed by the church by calling it the fruit of the devil due to its peculiar aroma and flavor. Overall, this precious tuber has been through several phases of consumption, both by the royalty as well by peasants (keep in mind that peasants were the ones to discover truffles, but that is a story for later).
Fast forward to the 20th century, when Giacomo Morra, a famed restaurateur and hotelier recognized the specialty of this ingredient and decided to create an entire event around it. The truffle was instantly changed into a product of worship and this was only the foothills of the heights that it would scale. In today’s day, truffles are much more accessible to the general public, albeit its seasonality, due to some amazing preservation and extraction techniques.
One such ingredient is truffle oil. Both black and white truffle oils are available around the world, making your pizzas and pastas that much more delicious and umami. These oils do deviate from its roots slightly as extraction of flavor from whole truffles into oil is next to impossible. Humans have figured out the flavour compounds that make truffles taste and smell like truffles and have replicated these compounds by adding them to olive and other oils.
At Urban Platter, we offer the best truffle oils with the added goodness of shaved truffle pieces suspended in the oil, imparting even more richness and flavor than is already present. We want to give you the entire truffle experience and offer some truffle products that were previously unheard of! Next time you have the urge to indulge in intense umami, reach for Urban Platter’s truffle zest or our decadent and intensely aromatic white and black truffle oils!