A truffle is one of a type of subterranean mushroom, or the fruiting body of such a mushroom. Spore dispersal is accomplished through fungivores, animals that eat fungi. Almost all truffles are ectomycorrhizal and are therefore usually found in close association with trees.
There are hundreds of species of truffles. The fruiting body of some (mostly in the genus Tuber) are highly prized as a food: French gourmand Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin called them "the diamond of the kitchen". Edible truffles are held in high esteem in Middle Eastern, French, Spanish, northern Italian and Greek cooking, as well as in international haute cuisine.