Chocolate Tales Article

How did chocolate truffles get their name?

Chocolate Truffles on a white background.

Have you ever wondered about the story behind the mouthwatering, luxurious treat we know as the chocolate truffle? It’s not just a name picked out of thin air. There’s a rich history and quite a few tales behind it.

Folklores of Escoffier & Dufour

Let’s start by diving into a bit of chocolate folklore. Picture this: it’s the late 19th century in France. Two renowned confectioners, Auguste Escoffier and Louis Dufour, are working their magic in the world of chocolates. One day, Dufour had an innovative idea. He decided to blend some creamy dairy with chocolate leftovers, and what emerged was a rich, velvety concoction. He decided to shape this new creation into balls, and thus, the chocolate truffle was born.

On the other hand, there’s a twist in the story. Another legend tells that Escoffier, in a moment of a happy accident, poured hot cream over chunks of chocolate instead of a sugared egg mix. The result? A crumbly, dense mixture, which he then shaped into small balls, mimicking the shape of the truffle mushroom.

Evolution of Chocolate Truffle

From its humble beginnings, the chocolate truffle embarked on a journey of evolution. Originally, truffles were rolled in cocoa powder, resembling the rustic appearance of the truffle mushrooms found in the woods of France and Italy. This resemblance is one key element in understanding the origin of its name.

As time went by, the simple cocoa-coated truffle underwent various innovations. From being coated in tempered chocolate to being flavoured with a variety of ingredients like champagne, nuts, fruits, and spices, the truffle became a gourmet delight.

From where did the name originate?

The million-dollar question: why the name “truffle”? As hinted earlier, the original chocolate truffles bore a striking resemblance to the rare and expensive truffle mushrooms. These fungi are a luxury in the culinary world, and their unique, lumpy appearance was mirrored by the earliest chocolate truffles. Hence, the name stuck, tying the luxuriousness of the mushroom to the decadence of the chocolate treat.

Ganache: The key ingredient

Now, let’s talk about the heart of the truffle – ganache. Ganache, a creamy mixture of chocolate and cream, is the soul of a chocolate truffle. When cooled, this mixture becomes malleable, allowing chocolatiers to shape it into the iconic truffle balls. It’s the ganache that gives truffles their rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Misconception: No ganache, no Truffle!

There’s a common misconception out there: any chocolate ball is a truffle. Not true! The defining feature of a truffle is its ganache center. So, while there might be many chocolate balls in the market if it doesn’t have that signature ganache, it can’t be called a truffle. Just a little food for thought the next time you’re savouring one!


The journey of the chocolate truffle, from its serendipitous creation to its evolution into a gourmet treat, is a testament to the magic of chocolate and human creativity. It’s more than just a treat; it’s a piece of history, a tale of passion, and an embodiment of culinary luxury. So, the next time you bite into a truffle, remember the tales of Escoffier, Dufour, and the truffle mushroom.

Remember, every bite of a chocolate truffle is a bite into a story that has been crafted over centuries. Enjoy.


Why are truffles named after mushrooms?

Truffles are named after the fungi because of their visual resemblance and the luxury both represent in their respective worlds.

Who is credited with creating the first chocolate truffle?

The origin is debated, but popular legends point to either Louis Dufour or Auguste Escoffier in late 19th-century France.

How is ganache pivotal to truffles?

Ganache, a blend of chocolate and cream, forms the core of truffles, granting them their rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Are all chocolate balls considered truffles?

No, not all chocolate balls are truffles. The defining feature of a truffle is its ganache center, setting it apart.

Why are truffles considered luxurious?

Truffles resonate luxury due to their rich ingredients, meticulous preparation, and their historical association with the high-end truffle mushroom.