Truffle…the food of gods

Since antiquity the presence of truffle on the tables was a sign of nobility and power of those who offered it, because considered by most the food of the Gods.

It is conveyed that the precious mushroom was born from the combined action of water, heat and lightning. Many poets were inspired from that. Giovenale, Giovenale explained that the origin of the precious mushroom, at that time called “tuber terrae”, it is due to a lightning struck by Jupiter next to an oak (tree considered sacred by gods). Since Jupiter was also famous for his prodigious sexual activity, truffles have always been considered . The doctor Galeno Galenowrote : “truffle is very nourishing and could have the pleasure”. In the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance truffle always remained a very appreciated food, above all on the tables of nobles and prelates. For some “scientists” of that time, its aroma was a sort of “fifth essence” which provoked to human being an ecstatic effect.

What’s truffle?

Truffle is an hypogeum mushroom, which lives under ground, as all the other mushrooms it has a radical structure consisting of a thick, branched and very woven interlining of whitish filaments (hyphae). The fruit, with tuber shape, is constituted by a fleshy mass called “glebe”, covered by a sort of bark called “peridium”. The characteristics of structure and color of those parts allow to easily distinguish different type of truffle.
In Italy there are more thank twenty-five varieties of truffle, but just few of them are edibles and have commercial importance.

TRUFFLE TYPOLOGY

tuber-melanosporum-2

PRESERVATION

To protect it, waiting for its consumption, the most valid system is to wrap it in a dry absorbent paper, to be daily substituted, so that it is kept an enough degree of humidity around it. After that, truffle should be inserted in a container with an hermetic closure (because otherwise other food could absorb its scent) and preserve it in the fridge, in the less cold compartment.
Other secrets to preserve it are: immerge it in rice, in sand or even in the clay after having cleaned it by the ground which surrounded it at harvest time.

FINE WHITE TRUFFLE
(Tuber Magnatum Pico)

bianco

Features

It is absolutely the finest variety of truffle from points of view of gastronomy and strictly economic due to the very high costs that the same could reach. It has a globose shape often flattened and irregular, with pale yellow peridium or even ochreous, occasionally with red-black patches. The glebe, with numerous white veining path, very branched, changes from white milk color to intense pink or brownish.

Use

Cut into thin sliced or grated on the dish. It’s ideal on fresh pasta, salads, rice, eggs accompanied by butter and salt.

It is available:
from 1 October to 15 March

FINE BLACK TRUFFLE
(Tuber Melanosporum Vitt)

nero

Features

The black truffle is the diamond of gastronomy
for its unmistakable taste.
The shape is globous, sometimes lobed,
with a black-dark peridium done to warts
depressed at the apex. The glebe is
dark or black/reddish color, crossed by
light and thin veins,
very branched.

Use

even raw or cooked, but slightly warmed in extra virgin olive oil, with a clove of garlic and salt all its perfumes are exalted. Important: it should absolutely not fry. Ideal on omelet, pasta, risotto, salads, toasted bread.

It is available:
from 1° January to 15 March

BRUMALE TRUFFLE
OR WINTER BLACK 

(Tuber Brumale Vittadini)

brumale

Features

It’s similar to fine black truffle, from which it differs
above all for its greyish tones of the glebe, for its most evident veins and the strong scent, similar to that of a rapeseed. It’s looks like the fine black truffle, with which it shares also the same habitat.

Use

even raw or cooked, but slightly warmed in extra virgin olive oil, with a clove of garlic and salt all its perfumes are exalted. Important: it should absolutely not fry. Ideal on omelet, pasta, risotto, salads, toasted bread.

It is available:
from 1 January to 15 March

BLACK SUMMER TRUFFLE
(Tuber Aestivum Vittadini)

estivo

Features

It is black with big protruding warts which
are
the characteristic of this variety.
The glebe is of hazelnut color with whitish
veins.
The sent is more delicate compared to other varieties and could remember the one of
porcini mushrooms.

Use

The black truffle must to be washed and it could be used raw but slightly warmed in extra virgin olive oil, with a clove of garlic and salt which exalt all its perfumes. Important: it should absolutely not fry.

It is available: from 10 May to 31 August.

WHITE TRUFFLE 
(Tuber Borchii

bianchetto

Features

It has an external appearance that could be confused with
the fine white truffle for its smooth peridium and of dirty white color, slightly darker even
in the glebe
when it reaches its maturity. The real characteristic
that
distinguish it from the white is the less intense perfume more garlicky.
It grows in calcareous soils hardwood and conifer woods.

Use

LThe recipes with white truffle are so many, and they could be simple or elaborate. When it’s at the right degree of maturity, it smells so much and has a very tasty flavor, so it’s enough in a very small quantity to flavor at the best our dishes

It is available:
from 1° January to 15 March

UNCINATE TRUFFLE
(Tuber Uncinatum Chatin)

uncinato

Features

it’s constituted by black smaller and less accentuated warts compared to scorzone truffle.
The tasty aroma let it a variety suitable to the most different use, both raw and cooked.

Use

raw or cooked but slightly warmed in extra virgin olive oil, with a clove of garlic and salt which exalts all its perfumes. Important: it should absolutely not fry. Ideal on omelet, pasta, risotto, salads, toasted bread

It is available:
from 15 October to 31 December

SMOOTH BLACK TRUFFLE
(Tuber Macrosporum Vittadinii) 

liscio

Features

It’s a very appreciated variety, even if little
known.
The scent remembers, even if vaguely, the one of
white truffle,
more garlicky. The surface is covered by small
warts which
makes it almost quite smooth. It grows in symbiosis
with poplars,
limes, oaks and hazel trees. Collection period: from
October to December.

Use

even raw or cooked, but slightly warmed in extra virgin olive oil, with a clove of garlic and salt all its perfumes are exalted. Important: it should absolutely not fry. Ideal on omelet, pasta, risotto, salads, toasted bread.

It is available:
from 15 October to 31 December

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