Truffles-we all know them as something exotic. Turns out, truffles have been collected and eaten for over 4,000 years! Originally, they were seen as inducers of romance and people attributed them with magical powers. Sages identified truffles as calluses of the earth, the product of lightening striking the ground, the children of the gods, or things that grew from the spit of witches.

Babylonian royals ate truffles wrapped in papyrus and roasted in ashes. The chefs of Egyptian pharaohs embellished dishes with them.

But, truffles really took off when the Greeks introduced them to the Romans. This is when Cicero, Pliny, and Plutarch classified them as aphrodisiacs, inspiring their country men, characteristically, to take pleasures to extremes.

See that man above with a pig? They are hunting truffles, why a pig you might ask?

First of all, not any pig can find truffles, this job is for the ladies only. The scent of truffles is said to be nearly identical to the smell of a male pheromone alpha-androstenol,  found in the testicles of big boars. So, while we understand that lady pigs are good truffle hunters, really, it turns out, they are just following their noses in the hopes of coming across and ready and waiting boar.

But, alas, most of us don’t want a boars testicles, so why do we like truffles?

Like the pig, we are attracted to smells and many people think that the musky smell of truffles, while similar to a board testicles, is also, for many, similar to the musk that we humans produce. It’s our sexy pheramone coming back to get us in the shape of a small crumpled fungus. Adding truffles to your coco puffs in the morning might not get you hot, but because this food is so linked to gourmet dining, an evening out of lavish food and wine, with just a hint of the truffle, might have you agreeing that good things can come in small packages.