Truffles, Not Just Good for Our Tummies, but for the World!23 Nov 2016, by Truffle Faves in
As well as providing us with a rich aroma and robust flavour for our foods, truffles are also an important part of our world’s ecosystems. Research conducted by scientists and professors over the past 25 years has outlined the role these delicious fungi plays in our delicate environment.
Truffles benefit both plants and animals as well as humans. They are essentially mushrooms which grow underground rather than above ground. Therefore, for reproduction truffles rely on animals to distribute their spores to other locations to reproduce. This is also the reason for their strong aroma, designed to attract animals to come and eat them.
The intertwined life of a truffle
The circle of life for a truffle begins as a spore, this fungi spore grows and the fruit itself is represented in the form of what we know as the truffle. Truffles often grow amongst tree roots, which they use to gain nutrients from the tree, whilst the tree uses the truffle to gain nutrients and moisture it cannot produce or gain for itself. This is called a symbiotic relationship, whereby the tree and the truffle partner up to help each other grow. In fact, in most cases one cannot survive without the other.
The usefulness of truffles impacts the ecosystem greatly. Truffles can be an important food source for animals within their ecosystems. The animals which may eat them, such as squirrels, mice, or foxes, then become food themselves for larger prey, and the cycle goes on. The animals which eat the truffle will then of course produce waste that is passed to the ground in a new location, further spreading the fungi spores, beginning the wondrous cycle of a truffles’ life once again.
If you love truffles or would like to try truffles for yourself, you can get in touch with Susan Alexander Truffles here.