What’s the difference between truffles and mushrooms?

23 Jun 2015, by Susan Alexander Truffles in Truffle Faves


They’re both fungi, they’re both delicious, and they both go in similar dishes. So what’s the difference between a mushroom and a truffle? Aren’t they pretty much the same thing? Well, not really! Here’s why.


Mushrooms grow above the ground.

The biggest difference is the scarcity of truffles compared to mushrooms. You can find mushrooms in any local supermarket. When it comes to truffles, you’ll have to dig a little deeper (pardon the pun) because truffles only grow in very specific conditions. They need the right tree roots to grow on, some rain to fall, and the perfect temperature. Even then we need to use special teams with dogs to find them underground. Due to their rarity, truffles are also (much!) more expensive than mushrooms.

Mushrooms can be found growing above ground, whilst truffles always grow underground attached to tree roots. You’ll find your average mushroom all year round in any season, whilst truffles have very short seasons and are very difficult to cultivate on farms.


Truffles grow underground.

In comparison to truffles, mushrooms have a very mild flavour. The flavour of truffles is extremelyrich and robust, which often becomes the central point of any dish. Mushrooms are less bold in flavour which makes them very versatile; therefore can be used in any dish. On the other hand, one must be careful when using truffles as the flavour will almost always over take over the dish. This is why truffles are often simply shaved on top of a dish to complement it, or used in oils to make the flavour go further. The prized flavour of truffles is very sought after and considered a delicacy all over the world.

You’ll find many varieties of mushrooms in your supermarket. From button mushrooms to shitake, from small to large and anything in between. Although variations are grown depending on location, truffles basically come in two types – black or white. And depending on the season and growth location,their flavour will be deeper or more aromatic.

If you’d like to try truffles for yourself and see the difference for yourself, check out Susan’s truffle products here.

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Susan is available to consult for events and dinners, including:
  • Supplying in season truffles
  • Working with Chefs and Staffs
  • Pairing Wines and Recipes
  • Special Appearances & Presentations
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