Black truffles, or Tuber Melanosporum, have never been without controversy. This highly prized fungus has become a fundamental ingredient in modern haute cuisine and is surrounded by curiosities dating back to ancient times. Here, we’ll share the key myths about black truffles or Tuber Melanosporum:
In the classical era, black truffles were already in use. Greeks were among the first to use them to enhance their dishes, as were the Egyptian pharaohs. However, unlike mushrooms, chanterelles, or boletus mushrooms that grow on the surface, black truffles sprout underground, making them much more enigmatic.
Perhaps that’s why the philosopher Aristotle believed that truffles spontaneously generated, especially after thunderstorms. According to this legend, the heat and energy of lightning penetrated the soil, creating these underground truffles. This notion has been scientifically discredited since we now know that truffles develop through a symbiotic relationship between this fungus and the roots of certain trees.
Black Truffles and Their Connection to Sexuality Secondly
Black truffles also have a certain connection to sexuality. Galen of Pergamon (2nd century B.C.) recommended their consumption to “produce a general excitement that predisposes to voluptuousness,” and it’s said that Napoleon and Marqués de Sade used them as sexual stimulants.
However, black truffles also had their detractors. The jurist Ibn Abdum advised against selling truffles near mosques because they were sought after by libertines. The physician of Pope Julius III attributed many physical and psychological ailments in people to truffles. In fact, within Christianity, priests and nuns were warned that consuming truffles was incompatible with the vow of chastity.
Another curiosity associated with black truffles or Tuber Melanosporum relates to sexuality as well. Allegedly, their scent resembles that emitted by pigs when they are in heat. This would be a strategy to attract them, have them unearth the truffles, and scatter their spores to continue reproducing. However, this claim isn’t entirely accurate: black truffles contain a hormone found in boar saliva, androstenone. Thus, when a pig searches for a truffle, in a way, it is also seeking sex.
If you’re still curious about getting a closer look at the aroma or taste of our truffles and want to debunk some myths, you can visit our online store and purchase black truffles.