The truffle …what is it?
The truffle, a common name which indicates the fruiting bodies of mushrooms which carry out their entire life cycle underground (Hypogeous) belonging to the Tuber genus. They must live in symbiosis with trees in order to produce their precious fruit. They are formed by an outer wall called “peridium” and an internal mass called “glebe,” inside of which live other large cells (asci) which contain the spores. The morphological characteristics of the peridium, glebe, asci and spores, added to the organoleptic characteristics allow for the identification of the species of the truffle.
White truffle: Oak, turkey oak, durmast, black poplar, white poplar, linden, white willow, black hornbeam, hazel.
Black truffle: Oak, holm oak, turkey oak, linden, hazel, black hornbeam, cistus.
Determining the various species of truffles is essentially based on morphological characteristics such as shape, size, colour, peridium ornamentation, gleba appearance, fragrance and flavour. Currently, there are nearly 63 species of fungi classified as Tubers, in Italy there are 25, but only 9 are considered edible and our farm typically sells 6 of them:
- White truffle – Tuber magnatum Pico – Harvest season from 10th September to 31st December
- Black truffle – Tuber melanosporum Vitt. – Harvest season from 15th November to 15th March
- Summer black truffle – Tuber aestivum Vitt – Harvest season from 1st June to 30th November
- “Uncinato” truffle – Tuber uncinatum Chatin – Harvest season from 1st October to 31st December
- “Bianchetto truffle – Tuber albidum Pico – Harvest season from 10th June to 30th April
- Winter black truffle – Tuber brumale Vitt. – Harvest season from 1st January to 15th March
Conservation and Cleaning
Fresh truffles should always be kept in the refrigerator, wrapped in a paper towel and sealed in a glass container. Make sure to regularly control that the paper towel is dry; change it each day if necessary. The minimum conservation time of truffles depends greatly on the type: black and black “scorzone” truffles are more resistant, while the white and “whitish” truffles are more delicate and deteriorate more quickly. Our general advice is to consume them within 4/5 days. Before using them, they must be carefully cleaned under running cold water with a small brush. Truffles are not to be peeled, but used just as they are.
To purchase products featuring Truffles, head over to Italia Regina!