Ancient Romans loved truffles for their aphrodisiac properties and Cicero called them 'earth's offspring'. They have also been dubbed the 'testicles of the earth'... my favorite name for them.
There's something about their musky scent that is similar to the male pheromone androstenone.
Now I don't think my fiancé, Mike smells like a funky fungus nor am I particularly attracted to the taste of truffles, but I'm going to spend 48 hours in Chianti eating them to see if there's any truth to this legend.
First we need to hire a truffle dog to sniff out these culinary delectables. We could use a pig, but I was told they don't transport easily in the truck and their smell is horrendous. They also refuse to give up the truffles once they dig them out.
It is at Tenuta Torciano Winery in San Gimignano that we meet Francesco and his sweet 1 year old Lagotto Romagnolo dog, named Fiame. I hope she loves searching for truffles as much as she loves belly rubs.
We brought Stella, our 8 year old one- eyed Shitzu with us. Perhaps Stella could pick up some pointers from Fiame and find us truffles in our yard back home.
Fiame immediately got to work once she got into the woods and within a half hour she had dug up a handful of white truffles. It was thrilling to see her digging up these treasures and you couldn't help but get caught up in the excitement.
Bravo Fiame !
Sadly we didn't get to keep the truffles but hope they provide a strong aphrodisiac for whomever consumes them. Francesco told us that Fiame developed a taste for truffles when she was a newborn pup suckling on her momma's tit. Her momma was given dog food covered in truffles with the idea that the smell and taste would transfer to her newborns. It sure did! Francesco had to run after Fiame once she started digging because if he didn't grab the truffle in time, Fiame would chow it down. We were told a good truffle dog is invaluable , typically costing $2,000 a pup. Each year there are reports of the experienced dogs being poisoned by rival hunters. How awful.
Stella, on the other hand, became stuck in the mud and had a confused look on her face.
I think she thought we were going to the shopping mall.
Mike seemed to enjoy the smell of the truffles and it made me wonder if perhaps he rubbed them all over his body , it could be an immediate turn on. I wonder how long it takes a person to become horny after eating just one ?
After 2 days of eating truffles ; in pasta, oil, eggs, chocolate, butter, sandwiches and potatoes, I have to admit they didn't have quite the effect on me I thought they would. I came home from the Chianti region with a belly ache.
I assume eating truffles in moderation is the key to maximizing its benefits. Though I do have a new found love and appreciation for truffles, especially a little truffle oil drizzled over my pasta or eggs. Molto Buono !!
In my next blog post , I will confess my three favorite truffle dishes of Chianti.
Ciao for now