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What are Truffles?

 

Not to be confused with fancy bite-sized chocolates of the same name, savoury truffles are subterranean fungi grown in calcareous soils near the roots of broadleaved trees such as oak or hazelnut. They’re mostly produced in concentrated areas around the world, including France, Italy, New Zealand, China, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific Northwest.

Everything You Need to Know About Truffles

You ask your waiter, who’s just told you that your pasta dish will include them. He goes on to explain that truffles are a rare and delicious form of mushroom before bustling off to his other tables. When your pasta dish finally arrives, there’s no mistaking the shaved truffles on top of it, which deliver a pungent aroma and distinctly earthy taste. Should you have a well-developed palate, you’ll quickly fall in love with each exquisite flavour as it unravels in your mouth.

Soon after, you’re looking for truffles everywhere you go, meaning restaurants and nearby forests alike. Prepare to be disappointed because finding truffles in Australia and pretty much anywhere else can be quite daunting unless you’re willing to pay extra for the privilege. While technically a mushroom, this elusive fungi is much harder to come by than your standard portobello or shiitake, to say the least.

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Meanwhile, you still have questions. What is a black truffle? What is a white truffle? Are truffles the same thing as mushrooms or aren’t they? Is it true that truffles look like poop? Are they safe? Are they being hidden away from us in order to keep the prices high? Why do they taste so freaking good?!!!

 

Psilocybin truffles normally have a more limited scope of effects. These trips are usually referred to as fun, with a lot of laughing and brighter, more intense colors. The experiences can be more intensely visual or more profoundly spiritual, but they rarely reach the heights that can be achieved with mushrooms (unless a high-dose, high-potency strain is consumed). Truffle trips also typically last between 2-4h, significantly shorter than when taking mushrooms. All in all, they generally offer a more safe and light-hearted experience than their fully developed counterparts. The most common effects of psilocybin truffles are:

. laughing and giggling;

. a sense of euphoria, awe, love, and joy;

. pleasant and tranquil bodily sensations;

. mild to strong visualizations, characteristically enhanced colors and lights, and moving textures and patterns;

. interesting closed-eyed visuals including fractal displays and dream-like images and animations;

. moderate mystical and spiritual sentiments;

 

The Mushroom

What is a mushroom?

 Mushrooms are not plants! Recently it has been discovered that they are more closely related to animals. But at one time, Fungi, including mushrooms, were believed to be close relatives of plants so much of their nomenclature (names for parts of the mushroom) are close to the names used for plant parts. It is the fruit (like an apple) of the mushroom “body” and contain mushroom “seeds” called spores. The body of the mushroom in called mycelium and its individual parts are microscopic. Since the body of the mushroom is usually dispersed over a relatively large area it is rarely noticed. In nature some species of mushrooms may have a body that spreads over hundreds of square miles!

 

 

Mushrooms are fungi, and are usually placed in a Kingdom of their own apart from plants and animals. Mushrooms contain no chlorophyll and most are considered saprophytes. That is, they obtain their nutrition from metabolizing non living organic matter. This means they break down and “eat” dead plants, like your compost pile does.

The body of the mushroom stores nutrients and other essential compounds, and when enough material is stored and the conditions are right they start to fruit – produce mushrooms. It is a hidden kingdom. The part of the fungus that we see is only the “fruit” of the organism. The living body of the fungus is a mycelium made out of a web of tiny filaments called hyphae. The mycelium is usually hidden in the soil, in wood, or another food source. A mycelium may fill a single ant, or cover many acres. The branching hyphae can add over a half mile (1 km) of total length to the mycelium each day. These webs live unseen until they develop mushrooms, puffballs, truffles, brackets, cups, “birds nests,” “corals” or other fruiting bodies. If the mycelium produces microscopic fruiting bodies, people may never notice the fungus.