Truffles have a lengthy and particularly illustrious history. They have long been prized as the gourmet equivalent of gold and have been treated as such. It makes a pleasant change for something with little or no aesthetic appeal to be held in such high regard. In our world of desired perfection the truffle really does buck the trend.
Still, I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say, and I dare say that many people find these wrinkled little nuggets amazingly attractive. Grizzly old truffle hunters and high-end chefs certainly do. And, if the looks don’t grab you, then chances are the flavour will. Looks can certainly be deceiving and the truffle is a prime example of this, with knockout aromas and tastes oozing out of the rather innocuous looking exterior.
Thousands of years ago, the origin of the truffle was a mystery that perplexed even the most astute minds. I am always amazed by how people first discovered certain foodstuffs. Presumably, at some point many moons ago, someone was either particularly bored or particularly hungry and happened across a couple of truffles. Having said that, it’s not actually all that easy to just trip over a truffle: a certain amount of perseverance and searching is required.
Perhaps they were just digging about in the dirt for a lost axe handle or sabre-tooth necklace. Whatever the reason, the brave soul obviously decided that it was worth trying them out in the cooking pot. What a prize indeed when the accidental truffle hunter placed a couple of delicate shavings over the top of their dinner of boiled roots. Gastronomy was truly born that day and truffles have been at the top of every gourmand’s wish list ever since.