All the curiosities and strangest facts about the world of truffles
Did you know that ...
... even if the scientific term "Tuber" could lead one to think that it is a tuber, the truffle is a hypogeal mushroom , that is, it grows underground and lives in symbiosis with the roots of some trees.
... the first written testimonies that have come down to us bear the signature of Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist lived in the first century after Christ. Through references contained in his writings it has been hypothesized that the truffle had been known for a long time, even by the ancient Egyptians . Indeed, it seems that the pharaoh Cheops had dishes based on this precious food prepared for foreign ambassadors.
... according to Greek mythology, the truffle was born from the combination of water, earth and lightning. It is said that the god Zeus, struck by the beauty of a nymph, threw a thunderbolt at her to attract her attention. The lightning, however, missed its target and hit the ground, giving life to the first truffle, also giving the mushroom aphrodisiac properties.
... each truffle grows underground in symbiosis with certain types of plants such as oaks, sessile oaks, English oaks, Turkey oaks, poplars (black and white), hazelnuts, willows, lindens, hop hornbeams and beeches.
The ideal climate for the development of the truffle must be aerated, as well as humid even in the hottest periods and a soil rich in calcium and potassium.
... traditionally the best help one could have in finding truffles was offered by the pig. The problem with this method is that the pig is fond of truffles, therefore there was a risk that he would eat the tuber or damage it with paws or snout, being less delicate than dogs; it has also been banned by law as it causes environmental damage in research.
Nowadays, only duly trained dogs are used in Italy; particular breeds, such as the Lagotto Romagnolo, the English pointer, the German pointer or more generally a small breed.