Where would you find truffles?

Truffles - if you want to sound extremely clever you can confuse your friends by telling them that the real name for truffles is Ascomycetes. That's what the botanists call them. But you're most likely to come across truffles in the very best French pates for example, in the famous pates of the Perigord region of France. The Perigord truffles became famous for culinary purposes as long ago as the 15th Century and ever since that time they have been regarded as essential to the production of the very finest pates. These Perigord truffles have a distinct smell but this is by no means unpleasant. Some truffle hunters can actually smell out the truffle in the woodlands but in France specially trained hounds with a keenly developed sense of smell are used. Truffles look rather like large spongy walnuts and they grow under the soil. Pigs adore them. In early days pigs were turned loose in the woodlands to root for the truffles buried beneath the soil and leaves. Even today pigs are used to sniff out truffles but they certainly are not allowed to eat them since truffles fetch high prices as a food delicacy. The best truffles are considered to be those in the forest regions of Dordogne area of France where the climate is warm and moist and there is plenty of limestone in the earth. This is one reason why Perigord in the heart of the Dordogne has achieved such a great reputation for fine pates. The most famous pate of all the very expensive pate de foie gras comes from Perigord.
Truffles are also found in the southern counties of France's neighbour England. The commonest English truffle has the botanical name of Tuber Aestivam. It is found on chalky soil and in beach woods. In the country of Wiltshire these truffles are cropped commercially.

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