There are so many truffle terms and origins flying about that it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Discover the complete guide to buying truffles here
Truffles are a wild, organic product—you can’t cultivate or control them, and that’s one of several reasons they sell for top dollar. If you’re going about buying truffles, you at least need to know a little more about them.
People can’t farm truffles, as they’re an unpredictable fungus. Instead, people scavenge for them, Italy being one of the most popular places for truffle hunting. Pigs were the original truffle seekers, and now, many individuals use dogs instead, as swine like to eat their findings.
Because of this intricate process, truffles come with a hefty price tag. In 2016, a 4.16-pound white truffle—the world’s largest find to date—sold for $61,250!
Of course, if you only want to buy a few ounces, you won’t have to take out a second mortgage.
Whether you’re an executive chef or just a savvy cook-at-home type, check out this truffle buying guide.
What You Need to Know When Buying Truffles
Making truffle butter, truffle chocolates, or truffle-topped french fries?
Whatever your dream truffle recipe, here’s what you should know.
The Difference Between White and Black Truffles
White truffles are rarer and will cost you a pretty penny. They also have an incredible depth of flavor that some describe as garlicky. Aroma-wise, white truffles are musky, pungent, and sometimes overpowering.
If cooking with white truffles, use them in moderation—for example, shaving them freshly over your dishes, savoring their raw flavor.
Black truffles are more subtle in taste, and also a little more common to come by. Therefore, you can expect a lower price point with a still-unmatchable taste. Expect mushroom-like, nutty flavors with a robust and earthy aroma.
The Cost of Truffles
The price of truffles varies depending on a wild, organic product:
- The size of the truffle
- Whether you buy black or white
- The strength of that particular growing season
- The rarity of the type of truffle
On average, expect to pay $250/lb. for summer black truffles, $350/lb. for Burgundy truffles (grown from September to February), $800/lb. for winter black truffles (grown from November to March), and up to $4,000/lb. for Alba (white truffles that grow from October through December).
These prices are much more reasonable when you break them down into ounces, which is more likely the amount you’d buy. In ounces, expect to pay about $15-16 an ounce for summer blacks, $21-22 for Burgundies, $50 for winter blacks, and $125-250 an ounce for Albas.
The truffle butter recipe we mentioned earlier uses about two teaspoons of black truffle pate. There are six teaspoons per ounce, allowing you several uses.
Where to Find the Best Truffles
Knowing how hard it is to find truffles in the wild, you’d think they’d be harder to find in stores, too!
Actually, you can find black truffles in several places, such as food stores near you or online, through platforms like Eataly, Marx Foods, and more.
Compare prices to ensure you’re getting a great deal. Don’t forget to check customer testimonials for quality reviews, too.
We’re Eating Good Tonight!
Now that you know all the factors of buying truffles, go out there and cook a wonderful meal with this healthy, rare, and delicious add-on.
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