What is a truffle? Is it the über-shroom, the highest order of fungal foods? Does it arrive, as some cultures feel, in the moment of a thunderclap? One thing is for sure: despite its unappetizing appearance, the truffle is without a doubt one of the most prized ingredients in the world's pantry. In this book, Zachary Nowak digs deep into the history and fame of this unlikeliest of luxury items, exploring the truffle's intoxicating hold on our senses how its distinctive flavor has become an instant indication of haute cuisine.
Nowak traces the truffle's journey from the kitchens of East Asia to those of Europe and the Americas. Balancing cultural, historical, and scientific perspectives, he offers a thorough and complete portrait of this many-sided mushroom. By comparing the truffle's history in the Old World with its growing prominence in the New World, he tells a larger story of the growth and dynamism of modern Western cuisine and food cultures. Featuring many instructive and surprising illustrations, and numerous recipes both historical and contemporary, this unique and fascinating book is a must-read for chefs, food historians, and anyone ever drawn by the truffle's mysterious, rich, and savory allure.