Difference Between Truffles and Chocolates
- Author: Rima Ghosh Published: 5th July, 2019
Who doesn’t love to eat chocolates? From six to sixty- everyone seems to be a huge fan of chocolates. The modern chocolate that is consumed world over was discovered in the mid-19th century by Joseph Fry who made a moldable chocolate paste by adding melted cacao butter back into Dutch cocoa. And by 1868 Cadbury entered our world and the rest they say is history. Along with chocolate, there is another word that is equally popular among the sweet-lovers and the word is “truffle”. But many people confuse these two as the same kind of stuff. Well, there is a difference between chocolates and truffles.
As per Wikipedia, Chocolate is a usually sweet, brown food preparation of roasted and ground cacao seeds that are made in the form of a liquid, paste, or in a block, or used as a flavouring ingredient in other foods.
As per Wikipedia, a truffle is the fruit of a subterranean ascomycete fungus, predominantly one of the many species of the genus Tuber. There are many other genera of fungi that are termed as truffles and among them, only some are highly prized as food.
And when one talks about chocolate truffle, then, it is a type of chocolate confectionery, traditionally made with a chocolate ganache centre coated in chocolate, cocoa powder or chopped toasted nuts (typically hazelnuts, almonds, or coconut), usually in a spherical, conical, or curved shape.
What Does The Shape Say?
The truffles always come in either round or oval shape. It might not be a perfect round shape but the truffles never come in other shapes such as a cube or triangle or rectangle.
The chocolates have no fixed structure. It can come in every shape. From round to oval to heart shape – there are varieties in shape of chocolates.
How Are They Grown?
Truffles grow well in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of trees unlike most of the mushrooms which grow on decomposing organic matter. To grow truffles, a germinating seed must be injected with the truffle fungus even before it is planted. One must know that the truffles are weak fungi and that’s why they require a specific nutrient, pH balance (7.5 to 8.3), and moisture to flourish. The trees that can be taken into consideration for truffle growth are- birch, beech, hazel, poplar, oak, hornbeam, and pine. But the harvesting won’t start before 5 or 7 years after preparation. And it requires proper 4 seasons to grow well.
Chocolates are derived from cacao trees. The harvesters grow cacao trees by first setting out cacao seeds in fibre baskets or plastic bags. It takes only a few months for these seeds to sprout and grow into seedlings that are then transplanted among the mother trees. They grow with glossy red leaves which turn green as the tree ages. A cacao tree produces several thousands of small, pink/white, and waxy flowers and out of them only 3-10% finally make a mature fruit. A healthy cacao tree produces at least 2000 pods per year.
How Are They Gathered?
The chocolate is made from the bean of the cacao tree. These beans are harvested and prepared into a dark brown creamy substance that is used for all kinds of baking and cooking.
To gather a truffle crop, animals with a highly developed olfactory sense are required. Traditionally, trained hogs were used to find truffles since they have an inherent ability to pick up the fungus’ scent from under the earth. Now the growers keep trained dogs for this truffle hunting because they are easier to control from consuming their profits.
Famous Growing Zones:
Black & White truffles are the most common varieties of truffles sold across the world. The colour difference is just for the fungi and that makes their flavour and aroma hugely different. The black ones are larger and are found mostly in the Perigord region of France. The white ones are the most popular ones and the best quality grows in the Piedmont region of Italy.
Cacao requires warm & wet climates and the most cacao producing regions of the world are- Côte d'Ivoire (30% of total production), Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.
How Are They Eaten?
The soil is removed from the truffles by running water and gentle brushing. They are generally consumed with the peels intact. But mostly, truffles are sliced or grated on food, sauces, and soups as a garnishing. They are never cooked as the heat damages the flavour and aroma. Those cream, cheese, or sauce soak up the flavour and they go well with souffles, pasta, chicken, risottos, omelettes, and fish. Sometimes, the truffle is grated over soft & unsalted butter to get truffle butter which goes well with toasts or baked potatoes.
Various chocolate brands across the world provide white chocolate, dark chocolate, truffle chocolate, etc. which are easily available in shops. They are simply unwrapped and eaten.
More Facts About Chocolates & Truffles:
- The black truffle season is December to March while white truffle season runs from September to December.
- As said earlier in the article that dogs are used to hunt truffles. A few years ago, an Italian dog named Rocco found 3.3 pounds of white truffles that were auctioned for $330, 000.
- White Truffles seems to be the most prized ones as one pound can be sold for more than $10,000.
- Do you know that it takes 400 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate?
- It is really interesting to learn that it takes two to four days to make a single-serving chocolate bar. And how long do you take to eat it?