What is a truffle and why is it so expensive?

Truffle hase gained widespread attention in the culinary world lately, becoming a favorite among chefs and food-lovers alike.

truffle

Not to be confused with the chocolate confectionery of the same name, truffles are a type of fungus that grows near the roots of certain trees.

There are many different types — such as black truffles, white truffles, summer truffles and garlic truffles — each with minute differences in flavor, appearance and price.

In addition to their strong flavor and pungent aroma, truffles are also highly nutritious and have been linked to a number of powerful health effects.

Dogs and other animals with good senses of smell are used to find it, and then people dig it up. Truffles are expensive because it is very hard to farm them. They only like very specific kinds of soil and tree. Because they live inside tree roots, you can’t just plant truffle seeds in a field or something.

There are lots of different ways to describe the flavor and odor, but commonly you’ll hear it described as slightly garlicky with a deep musky aroma. It’s a very earthy, pungent and deliciously funky

truffle


Health Benefits of Truffle

Here are 3 surprising health benefits of truffles.

Rich in Important Nutrients

Truffles boast an impressive nutrient profile and are high in many important vitamins and minerals.

In fact, they’re high in carbs, protein and fiber and contain both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, as well as micronutrients, such as vitamin C, phosphorus, sodium, calcium, magnesium, manganese and iron. (Research also indicates that truffles may be a complete source of protein, providing all nine essential amino acids your body needs.

Keep in mind that the nutrient profile can vary between species. For example, studies show that white desert truffles are higher in protein, fat and fiber than other types, such as the black desert species

Truffles are a type of flavorful fungus commonly used in a variety of dishes. In addition to their distinct taste and aroma, truffles are also highly nutritious, rich in antioxidants and may possess antibacterial, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

High in Antioxidants

Truffles are a great source of antioxidants, compounds that help fight free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to your cells.

Studies show that antioxidants are important to many aspects of your health and may even be linked to a lower risk of chronic conditions, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Though the exact amounts can vary between different species, truffles have been shown to contain antioxidants like vitamin C, lycopene, Gallic acid and homogentisic acid.

Because of their antioxidant content, test-tube studies show that both black and white truffles may even help kill cancer cells and reduce inflammation.

Note that this study was performed using highly concentrated truffle extracts. Therefore, it remains unclear how the antioxidants in fresh truffles may affect your overall health.

truffle

Has Antibacterial Properties

In addition to their stellar nutrient profile, truffles may also have antimicrobial properties that can help decrease the growth of specific strains of bacteria.

One test-tube study showed that extract from desert truffles inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus by up to 66%. These bacteria can cause a wide range of illnesses in humans.

Similarly, another test-tube study observed that extract from the same variety decreased the growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a strain of bacteria that is often highly resistant to antibiotics.

However, further research is needed to measure the antibacterial effects of other types of truffles and in amounts typically eaten.

Additionally, high-quality studies should be conducted to determine how the antibacterial properties of truffles may affect these bacterial infections in humans.

The Bottom Line

Truffles are a type of flavorful fungus commonly used in a variety of dishes.

In addition to their distinct taste and aroma, truffles are also highly nutritious, rich in antioxidants and may possess antibacterial, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Still, current research is mostly limited to test-tube studies using concentrated truffle extracts, so it’s unclear how these beneficial properties may impact your health.

That being said, a small amount can go a long way, so be sure to pair them with a range of other healthy ingredients to maximize their potential benefits.