Truffles are fungi that live underground in symbiosis with plant roots. They are especially known for their excellent organoleptic qualities, and the most important are aroma and flavor. They look like tubers made of a fleshy mass inside called “gleba” and a bark outside called “peridio”. They are mostly made of water, fibers and mineral salts absorbed from the soil through the roots of the tree with which it lives in symbiosis.They are classified into different species, including the best-known for culinary use are: il tartufo bianco, il tartufo nero pregiato di Norcia e lo scorzone o tartufo nero estivo.

TYPES OF TRUFFLE AND HARVEST

The White Truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico)

  • Harvest: October – December.
  • Features: it has a smooth surface, ocher yellow or yellow-olive, sometimes even greenish-grey.
  • Useful tips: may be used raw or slightly heated in thin slices. Excellent with butter and Parmesan cheese. Before
    use, wash thoroughly under running water, the fresh product is to be used as soon as possible.
  • Preservation methods: clean thoroughly by removing the earth with a toothbrush. Wrap the truffles individually in absorbent paper which is to be replaced every two days. Place in a sector for up to 5 or 6 days

The Bianchetto Truffle (Tuber Borchiti Vitt o Tuber Albidum Pico)

  • Harvest: february – April
  • Features:it presents a smooth white outer rind with a hazelnut with white-veined inner pulp. It exudes a strong fragrance.
  • Useful Tips: is used cooked in thin slices. Excellent with butter and Parmesan cheese. Before use wash thoroughly under running water, fresh product to be used as soon as possible.
  • Preservation method: clean thoroughly by removing all earth with a toothbrush.
    Wrap individually in absorbant paper which is to be replaced every two days. Place in a glass jar and store in the vegetable sector for up to 5 or 6 days.

The Black Summer Truffle (Tuber Aestivum Vitt.)

  • Harvest: June – August
  • Features: can be either black or brownish, has a rough surface and projecting pyramidal warts 2-4 mm wide. Reddish when young it turns darker with maturation.
  • Useful tips: to be used cut or grated, cooked with the addition of other mushrooms and extra virgin olive oil. Before use wash thoroughly under running water, fresh product to be used as soon as possible.
  • Preservation Method: thoroughly clean the truffles by removing all earth with a toothbrush. Wrap individually
    in absorbant paper which must be replaced every two days. Close the glass jar and store in the refrigerator for maximum 8/10 days.

The Fine Black Truffle (Tuber Melanosporum Vitt.)

  • Harvest: December – Febuary
  • Features:this truffle present a surface of pyramidal warts with depressed apex, 3-5 mm, which are strongly adherant to the inner pulp. The inner pulp is black, sometimes having a rusty shade which can tend to reddish-wine in the unripe funghi.
  • Useful tips: to be used cut or grated, cooked or as a garnish with the addition of extra virgin olive oil. Before use, wash under running water and use fresh product as soon as possible.
  • Preservation method:thoroughly clean the truffles by removing all earth with a toothbrush. Wrap individually in absorbent paper which must be replaced every two days. Place in a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for maximum 10/15 days.

The Black Burgundy truffle (Tuber Aestivum Varo Uncinatum Chatin)

  • Harvest: October – March
  • Features: burgundy truffles (Italian:tartufo nero di fragno, tartufo grigio di borgogna), are similar to the Tuber Aestivum but different in theese things: They have an much more intense, hazelnut-like aroma and are highly prized for their gastronomic qualities. With bodies (ascocarps) from 2 centimetres (1 in) to 10 centimetres (4 in) in diameter, burgundy truffles are relatively large. Their brown or black outer skin (peridium) forms pyramidal warts about 3 to 9 mm wide, resembling rough bark.
  • Useful tips: to be used cut or grated, cooked with the addition of other mushrooms and extra virgin olive oil. Before use wash thoroughly under running water, fresh product to be used as soon as possible.
  • Preservation method:thoroughly clean the truffles by removing all earth with a toothbrush. Wrap individually in absorbant paper which must be replaced every two days. Close the glass jar and store in the refrigerator for maximum 8/10 days.

Moscato Brumale Truffle (Tuber Brumale Moschatum De Ferry)

  • Harvest: Gennaio – Marzo
  • Features:It may take shapes and sizes vary widely in round usually at times with depression. Has warty surface and black, with pyramidal warts, bulging, large, which give it a typical roughness and a certain consistency. The pulp is light brown color that comes when ripe, with numerous whitish veins. Exudes a delicate and pleasant scent that is vaguely reminiscent of the smell of mushrooms; tenuous when young more intense when it comes at fully ripe
  • Useful tips: It is used chopped or grated, cooked with the addition of mushrooms to taste and extra virgin olive oil. Before use, wash thoroughly in running water. fresh product to be used as soon as possible.
  • Preservation method:Carefully remove the truffles by removing the floor with a toothbrush. Wrap individually in absorbent kitchen paper to be replaced every two days. Replace in a glass jar and store in the refrigerator in the vegetable sector to a maximum of 8-10 days.

Truffles preservation period

The preservation period varies from a maximum of 20 and a minimum of 7 days and it can change depending on the degree of ripeness of the product and the season in which it is collected. We should consume the white truffle, collected in the early periods of the season, within the minimum retention period.

Ways of preserving Truffles

To allow the precious truffle to maintain intact its perfume, it is necessary to avoid contact with water, which would favor tissue maceration and the rapid decay of the fruit. Also, excessive evaporation deteriorates the organoleptic qualities, as the fruit will lose fragrance and most of all its weight. Hence the double necessity of having something capable of absorbing the water and at the same time to limit as much as possible such evaporation. A paper straw or a cloth wrapped around the truffle, they will absorb water but simultaneously they will keep around the carpophore an atmosphere saturated with humidity to minimize evaporation. Now the truffle  is ready to be put in the refrigerator, strictly at a temperature of + 4 ° C, , inside a closed container.