History

When were truffles first eaten?

If we look back in time we find that the first reference to truffles dates back to the Sumerians, more than two thousand years before our era in their depictions on clay tablets of the eating habits of their enemies, the Amorites. It is the Egyptians who keep the truffle on their menu, as a foodstuff aimed at the wealthy classes and cook them soaked in fat, looking for the most cost effective way of bringing out the best qualities of the truffle.

In classical Greece it was considered that they appeared out of nowhere: that their generation was spontaneous. In fact, it was even said: "The more thunder, the more truffles that grow!" The Romans inherited the Greek civilization and truffles as part of it, although it was not precisely the black truffle that caught the attention of the Romans, but other varieties of the fungus.

Over the years, truffles became more and more well known until 1423 when Don Enrique de Villena wrote about the simplest customs to cook them in his book Arte de cisoria (The Art of Carving). In the following centuries truffles have been recorded in the cookbooks and botanical works of Spain.

And they have lasted until our times in which traditional and modern cuisine come together, using black truffles as an ingredient and as an accompaniment to many dishes.

The truffle has always been considered a luxury food that only a chosen few have been able to enjoy—those who knew how to find them or those who could afford them. In that past, what was only available for the privileged classes is nowadays within the reach of everybody, albeit in small quantities. All of this is thanks to companies such as Manjares, who cultivate, care for and market the truffle, making it available to everyone and turning it into an increasingly universal product.