Botanical name: Tuber aestivum (black) and Tuber magnatum (white)
Edible fungus which is not technically a mushroom. Grows at the roots of specially inoculated oak trees, 5cm–30cm below the ground. Most truffles are imported from the forests of Europe, although black truffle plantations have been established around Australia.
Usage: Very strong in flavour so used sparingly in fresh pasta, risotto and egg dishes as the flavour can dominate. Thinly slice and cover in olive oil to infuse the oil, which is then drizzled over the dish just before serving or at the table.
Characteristic: Canned or fresh, truffles are expensive. Highly perishable; use fresh truffles within 1–2 days of purchase