Synopses & Reviews
Whether the world's best truffles come from Piedmont or P√©rigord inspires impassioned debate, but the effects of dwindling supply and insatiable demand for the elusive mushroom are unquestionable: prices through the roof, intrigue and deception, and ever more intensive efforts to cultivate. As international mycologist Ian Hall and his colleagues have written, "Attempts at taming the truffle, of ordering its growth and harvest, now span the globe, and there has been some success in unlocking the secrets of what French researchers have aptly referred to as la grande mystique
The secrets of when, how, and where to collect truffles have been passed from generation to generation since ancient times, but artificial cultivation remains the holy grail. Here, in the most comprehensive practical treatment of the gastronomic treasure to date, the art and science of the high-stakes pursuit come together. This extensively illustrated volume brings the latest research and decades of experience to enthusiasts and professionals alike, with coverage of the leading trufle areas including France, Italy, Spain, and Asia, and the newcomers: Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
The authors leaven their enthusiasm and expertise with wry humor, exploring the history and newest techniques. They describe in detail the commercial species and their host plants, natural habitats, cultivation and maintenance, pests and diseases, and harvesting with pigs, dogs, truffle flies, and even the electronic nose.
Production in truffle plantations can begin after only three years, but often the rewards may take more than a decade. So there is plenty of time to read and prepare, and no better resource than this one.
"The pleasure of truffles can be both gustatory and emotional; likewise, this book provides both substantial information and evocative folklore." Lavender
"A beautiful book from start to finish (think coffee table book in appearance, but with meat to it). No mycophile or gastronome passing through a bookshop would walk past the cover without picking it up! And the book is filled with high-quality color photographs. The prose matches the elegant pictures nicely, even humorously at times, and takes the reader through the history of truffle hunting and cultivation ... Taming the Truffle would certainly attract all levels of mycologists from beginner through advanced, but it has the allure and witty prose to inveigle those who never imagined they could share out love and interest in fungi." Inoculum
"I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a lovely luxurious book with many pictures and drawings. That the authors have a wonderful sense of humor is evident in the writing." Gastronomica
"[T]his fascinating, lavishly illustrated volume...will keep the reader engrossed through site preparations, irrigation methods--and, yes, the actual tasting of the truffle."
"[The authors] reveal the state of the art and science of producing the 'ultimate mushroom' in a splendidly interesting and informative way...this book is outstanding."
"Even if you don't crave growing truffles, this informative and highly readable book reveals the fascinating mysteries, lore, and biology of this ultimate food better than any other book in English. It is a paragon of science written for the interested layperson."
Whether the world's best truffles are found in Piedmont or Perigord inspires impassioned debate, but the effects of dwindling supply and insatiable demand for the elusive, ultimate mushroom are unquestionable: prices through the roof, intrigue and deception, and ever more intensive efforts to cultivate.
The secrets of when, how, and where to collect truffles have benn passed from generation to generation since ancient times, but artificial cultivation remains the holy grail. Here in the most comprehensive practical treatment of the gastronomic treasure to date, the art and science of the high-stakes pursuit come together.
Their enthusiasm and expertise leavened with wry humor, the authors explore the newest techniques; they describe the commercial species in detail along with their host plants, natural habitats, cultivation and mintenance, pests and diseases, and harvesting with pigs, dogs, truffle flies, and even the electronic nose.
Pursuit of the fungus that costs more than gold is not for the faint of heart nor for those in a hurry, as under ideal conditions, truffle production in artificial truffieres can begin after three years but results may not be seen until a decade after planting, and maximum yields not for another decade still. So there is time to read and prepare, and no better source than this one.
The art and science of cultivating the fungus worth more than gold. The most comprehensive practical treatment of the gastronomic treasure to date, Taming the Truffle brings the latest research and decades of experience to enthusiasts and professionals alike, with coverage of the leading truffle areas including France, Italy, Spain, and Asia, and the newcomers: Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
What is a truffle? Some see it as the apotheosis of the mushroom; some cultures believe that thunderclaps produce the esteemed, delectable fungus. Having a rather uninviting appearance, it is probably most famous as a prized, luxurious ingredient in the kitchen. Scientists, despite having succeeded in sequencing the truffleand#8217;s genome, are still determining many aspects of its existence. The truffle has a powerful hold over us, is renowned for many features beyond taste, and is often used in perfume. But few know the history and origins of this coveted plant.
Zachary Nowak delves into the history and fame of the truffle in Truffle: A Global History, relating its journey from the Far East to European and American kitchens. He compares the truffleand#8217;s origins and history in the Old World to its growing prominence in the New World, along the way showing the growth and dynamism of modern Western cuisine and food cultures.
What is a truffle? Is it the and#252;ber-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 worldand#8217;s pantry. In this book, Zachary Nowak digs deep into the history and fame of this unlikeliest of luxury items, exploring the truffleand#8217;s intoxicating hold on our senses how its distinctive flavor has become an instant indication of haute cuisine.
Nowak traces the truffleand#8217;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 truffleand#8217;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 truffleand#8217;s mysterious, rich, and savory allure.and#160;
About the Author
Gordon Brown has collaborated with Ian Hall on two books prior to Taming the Truffle
Ian R. Hall has traveled widely and his knowledge of mushroom cultivation is international in scope. His firm, Truffles and Mushrooms Consulting Ltd., aims to further the cultivation of edible ectomycorrhizal mushrooms. He also directs the activities of Symbiotic Systems N.Z. Ltd, a company that studies the beneficial effects of mycorrhizas in forestry. Hall has published on a variety of topics in addition to edible mushrooms and mycorrhizas, including the pathology of grasses oversown into tussock grasslands and greenhouse design. He completed his PhD at New Zealand's Otago University, where he studied with Geoff Baylis. After his post-doctoral fellowship with Jim Gerdemann at Illinois University, Hall returned to New Zealand to work as an applied mycologist and plant pathologist with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF Technology).Alessandra Zambonelli is a foremost Italian expert on truffles. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Bologna, where she teaches mycology and applied plant pathology. Widely published, Zambonelli is the president of the Italian Mycological Association.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A Shy Fungus, the Jewel of Cuisine
1. Truffles in the Sand
2. The Fall and Rise of the Truffle
3. Mycological Diplomacy
4. France and Gastrochauvinism
5. The Wandering Truffle
6. The Future of Fungi
Websites and Associations