Infused Flavor For Every Gourmet Meal
Mushrooms and truffles are found the world over, but only a select few of each fall under the heading of gourmet food. Truffles are a fungus that grows in rocky soil. Mushrooms grow in wet weather. There are many varieties of each and not all are edible. Some mushrooms and truffles are poisonous.
You can find common mushrooms at your local grocer. However, if you want something gourmet to liven up your palate, there are several varieties you might want to know about.
- Shiitake - these come from Asia, with a brown or blackish cap and are said to have some healing properties.
- Portabella - also called "portabello," this large, meaty Italian mushroom is popular for stuffing.
- Porcini - though these are named by Italians, they are Finnish. These mushrooms go great with many dishes, including meats, pasta and risotto.
- Morels - brownish mushroom that comes in various shapes (from round to bell-shaped). These are some of the most expensive mushrooms you can buy.
- Matsutakes - large, white Asian mushroom.
There are many other kinds of gourmet mushrooms. Click on the links nearby to find out more.
Truffles are indispensable to the true gourmet food lover. Since ancient times, truffles have been considered a delicacy. They are actually one of the world's most expensive foods, commanding up to $1000 a pound.
The two most famous truffles are the black truffle found in (Perigord) France and the white truffle from Italy. Truffles are vital to fine pates.
Truffles are grated or sliced and used as a flavoring for many gourmet dishes, including veal and other meats, as well as pasta and rice dishes. Truffle gourmets warn that they are best used fresh out of the package.
Truffle Tidbit: truffle-hunting pigs are now often replaced by trained dogs, which are easier to handle.