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Poor´s truffle

Last weekend we were enjoying Extremadura, a region that is still very unknown. Of course we visited the most emblematic cities and towns, but we also got lost by the lesser known, enjoying its wonderful landscape and its delicious gastronomy and, as we are still in the season of “criadillas de tierra”, we take the opportunity to taste it on its own area.

This hypogeous fungus, Terfeziaceae, with three genera Terfezia, Tirmania, and Mattirolomyces, is more commonly known as truffle of the poor, earthworms, baby potatoes or desert truffle, though actually it is not a truffle in strict sense; they are fungi belonging to the ascomycetes that present a symbiotic mycorrhizal relationship usually with the roots of shrubs, in particular of the genus Helianthemum, with a size between 30 and 300g. It occurs in acidic, sandy, pastureland, grassland and plains of the Mediterranean basin and North Africa.

Although its flavor is not as intense or aromatic as our beloved tuber melanosporum but more like other fungi  they are very rich in scrambled eggs, roasted  with oil and salt or accompanying meats.

We have taken them in scrambled eggs with asparagus, accompanied by Iberian prey and creamy rice with “torta de Casar” cheese; My mouth is still watering!

In the section “To share” I leave you the recipe of creamy rice with” torta del Casar” cheese and truffle of the book “Gusto y tastes de Extremadura” by Marina Domecq (text), Toño Pérez (recipes) and Tayo Acuña (photographs), edited by Iberdrola and Caja Extremadura.

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