The truffle is a mushroom. Specifically, it is an underground mushroom (which grows underground) and which is part of the Tuberaceae family. We pay attention: the Tuberaceae are not tubers, but underground species with the fruiting body in the shape of a tuber.
Probably, the truffle’s belonging to the Tuberaceae family, and its Latin name which is “Tuber Micheli”, has led many to consider it a tuber.
the truffle is therefore a mushroom, even if it resembles a tuber.
It has an external rind, called peridium, which can be wrinkled or smooth, and an internal pulp (the gleba) furrowed with veins that give it a marbled appearance.
The truffle lives in symbiosis with other organisms (usually plants such as oak, hazelnut, hornbeam, poplar and lime), and reproduces through the production of spores.
But let’s now better understand the actual difference between a tuber and a mushroom.
What is meant by tuber?
For the avoidance of doubt, a tuber is a part of the stem of a plant, which changes and takes on a globular appearance (which can be more or less elongated) and in which reserve nutrients are accumulated.
In practice, the purpose of the tubers is to allow the survival of the plant during the winter (thanks to the substances they contain), and its reproduction (thanks to the presence of buds on their surface).
A tuber that we all know is, for example, the potato.
What is meant by mushroom?
Fungi are plant organisms devoid of chlorophyll that feed on the heterotrophic route (not being able to independently synthesize organic compounds, they absorb those synthesized by other organisms) and propagate through the production of spores.
Mushrooms derive nourishment from the external environment by absorbing it through the walls and decomposing the organic material present in the soil, which as everyone knows, truffles do.
Specifically, the latter establish a symbiosis with the plant, extracting sugars from the roots, and giving them mineral salts, in a relationship of mutual help.
Another very important characteristic that makes the truffle a mushroom and not a tuber is the presence of spores inside it, which it needs to reproduce.