A truffle is the fruiting body of a subterranean fungus, predominantly one of the many species of the genus Tuber. Some of the truffle species are highly prized as food. French gourmet Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin called truffles "the diamond of the kitchen". Edible truffles are held in high esteem in Italian, French,  Middle Eastern and Spanish cooking, as well as in international haute cuisine, Truffles are fungi which are usually found in close association with the roots of trees. Spore dispersal is accomplished through animals that eat fungi. Because of their high price and their pungent aroma, truffles are used sparingly.  White truffles are generally served raw, and shaved over steaming buttered pasta, salads or fried eggs. White or black paper-thin truffle slices may be inserted into meats, under the skins of roasted fowl, in foie gras preparations, in pâtés, or in stuffings. Some speciality cheeses contain truffles, as well.The flavor of black truffles is far less pungent and more refined than that of white truffles. Their strong flavor is often described as syrupy sweet. Black truffles also are used for producing truffle salt and truffle honey. While in the past chefs used to peel truffles, in modern times, most restaurants brush the truffle carefully and shave it or dice it with the skin on so as to make the most of this valuable ingredient.

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