HISTORY OF TRUFFLE
The truffle now runs through the history of man from some thousands of years , and it is an expensive and highly coveted product that always represents a kind of status symbol . Here is a guide , simple and complete , which traces the history of the truffle , from antiquity to the present day .
The history of the truffle is lost in humanity, because it is a product that is appreciated by man since time immemorial because of its excellent organoleptic characteristics. This underground fungus is even talk in the ancient Babylonian texts, although the first real 'consecration' dates back to Roman times. The truffle is, since then, an ingredient that has never failed on the most refined tables. The beginning of the story "official" of the truffle is traced back to the first century A.D., when the great historian and Roman scientist Pliny the Elder wrote out his most important work, the Naturalis Historia ( "History of Nature"). In the Naturalis Historia are specific references to the truffle content, which the Romans called Tuber, and that on the table of the noble families could never miss. Probably the Romans learned to know and appreciate the truffles from the Etruscans, although some historians believe that the Middle Eastern populations and Asia Minor gather into this underground fungus already around 1500 BC about. Even the ancient Greeks were big apprezzatori truffle, which according to mythology, was derived from a thunderbolt hurled by Zeus into an oak tree. The greek philosopher Plutarch, however, believed that this fungus instead derived from the combination of rain, lightning and heat. Fun fact: since Zeus, father of the gods, was known to be a conqueror of women, ever since truffle are attributed aphrodisiac properties. In fact, it is a simple popular belief.
TRUFFLE FROM THE MIDDLE AGES TO THE 1800S
Even in medieval and Renaissance times the truffle continued to be held in high esteem, such as referring the historian and humanist Bartolomeo Palatine. Palatine, in his writings dating back to 1481, reported that some pigs used for the search of truffles, which, however, had to be applied to prevent the muzzles after they unearthed it whose food. It is rather curious that the investigative approach, in later times, he tried to explain the origins of the truffle and its membership to a natural realm rather than to another. In fact, some scholars believed that the truffle was a plant, others that it was an entity that can arise spontaneously from the ground, while the more fanciful even classified it in the animal kingdom. The heated debate on the nature of the truffle was up to a certain point consumers of this product, much more interested in good food that scientific research. The truffle was for many centuries a delicious and expensive food that only nobles and clergy that mattered could afford. Even in medieval and Renaissance times the truffle kept his aura of stimulating food, able to lead those who consumed the total satisfaction of the senses. In the eighteenth century the truffle enjoyed one of its periods of greatest splendor, since this delicious mushroom became sought after throughout Europe. The most popular by far was the Piedmont white truffle, a delicacy which was exported at every European court and that he had among his admirers some of the most significant personalities from the era. How, for example, the composer Gioacchino Rossini, who defined the Piedmontese truffle none other than the "of" Mozart fungi. For the Political and French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, however, the truffle was simply the "diamond of the kitchen".
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT
Although truffles - especially the Piedmontese - was known and appreciated almost anywhere in Europe, only in 1929 this product became the subject of a real marketing campaign before its time. The credit enhancement of the Piedmontese truffle was made by Giacomo Morra, a restaurateur and hotelier albense that at the annual Fair of Alba devoted himself to publicizing the product on a large scale. The success was extraordinary both in the audience and among the insiders, to the point that a few years later (in 1933, to be exact) the Fair of Alba was renamed "Truffle". Morra was, in its way, a strategist farsighted and clever: it was able, in a short time, turn the truffle as 'simple' (so to speak) ingredient in traditional dishes true object of worship at the international level. In the year of 1949, for example, the best white truffle from Piedmont was donated to the famous American actress Rita Hayworth. Since then, following what has become a tradition, these truffles records are regularly paid homage to famous politicians and personalities from the entertainment world; the list of these "lucky" also include figures of the likes of Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman, Alfred Hitchcock and Sophia Loren.
A curiosity : the quotations record for this prized mushroom was in 2007 , when the owner of a chain of casinos in Macau shelled out a whopping 250.000 Euros ($300,000) to win a 1.5- kg truffle. This specimen is one of the largest ever collected , but a record is also the truffle found near the town of Buje by Giancarlo Zigante and his dog Diana . With a weight of 31.1 kilograms well , the truffle at the time was deservedly won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.