A truffle is a succulent body of a subterranean aspergillus fungus, primarily one of several species of the family Aspergillales. There are a number of other genera in the Aspergillaceae, but among those that grow on trees and shrubs, truffles are by far the most common and popular.
Among the other Aspergillus fungi, the truffles tend to be larger, more robust, and darker, with a fleshier texture and more robust flavor. There are two species that are most often associated with truffles: Geophilus and Ptychotomyces. These species grow on the earth's surface, although they are sometimes found growing underground in cavities.
Geophilus is usually considered to be the dominant species present on land, with around 40% of its population consisting of sub-tropical species. However, it is a prolific ground-dweller, having an estimated density of approximately three or more spores per cubic meter. It tends to grow close to decaying material, such as in soil cracks, or in mossy places under the earth surface.
Ptychotomyces is not as widespread as Geophilus, but it can grow on moist, dark surfaces, like moss. It also grows on decaying organic matter, in mossy areas beneath the ground surface. Ptychotomyces has a slightly sweet, nutmeg-like odor and tends to form thick mats of spores over damp places. These mats are not always completely dry, and a slight moisture will cause them to expand, causing a "snowball effect" in the air.
In contrast, Geophilus grows on living material, including on decaying organic material and in damp, dark conditions. In fact, pedophiles are the most commonly found on wood and other natural material. It can also grow in soil cracks and crevices, particularly on the sides and base of rocks. In humid, wet environments, it may not grow at all.
While truffles are typically found on trees and shrubs, black truffles are not limited to these objects alone. They are actually often found growing on underground rock formations, especially in limestone formation, on the upper sides of stones, and on other hard surfaces. They are also frequently found on the sides of houses and other structures.
One of the most common ways to find them is by the use of black truffle salt. These are the dried leaves, bark and roots of some truffle species, which have been harvested and then ground into fine powder. The powdered salt is then added to food or drinks that taste sweet and are intended to be eaten.
In spite of its popularity, there are a number of myths and misconceptions associated with the herb. Some of these have to do with the black color of this fungus, as some think it is the result of a pigment called suberin. Others believe that the black color is an indication that the herb is poisonous, but there is no evidence to support this.
Aspergillus, for example, is a yeast that is harmless when consumed in its natural state. Many people think that consuming truffles will kill the yeast, but this is not true. Aspergillus is not a toxic organism, but rather a beneficial bacteria.
Some believe that eating Aspergillus will cure certain diseases, although there is no evidence that this is true. In fact, it is thought that the fungus can help to control such illnesses, but these claims have not been substantiated by scientists.
In addition, truffles can actually have negative side effects. If they are cooked incorrectly, they can cause skin irritations, burning, and lesions if cooked for too long. This can be avoided by taking precaution and handling the truffles with care.
In addition to being able to add a flavor to many types of foods, some believe that this fungus, especially Aspergillus, is beneficial to the body in other ways. Because of its anti-bacterial and antifungal properties, it has been found to help promote weight loss and aid in the treatment of arthritis, high cholesterol, acne, eczema, and digestive disorders.