The awesome taste of Truffle
Among the typical Italian products must be mentioned the truffle, of which Italy holds the record for variety, quality and quantity
From the antiquity the truffle is one of the most delicious and refined foods. The characteristic best known is its intense smell that makes it a unique food of its kind. Maybe not everyone knows that the truffle belongs to the fungi family. It is called “underground” because it develops and grows naturally unfergroung. They find refuges next to the roots of trees and with them establish a symbiotic relationship. The availability of the truffle in the territory is limited because the growth of this delicacy depends on seasonal as well as environmental factors. In certain years arrive to cost very high prices.
In the Italian territory there is a rich presence, in fact they are present in all their different species used in gastronomy. About the types of edible truffles we refer to this classification:
• White Truffle: present mainly in the Piemonte and Lombardia areas, but it is also found in some areas of central Italy and southern France. It is the most valuable.
• Black Refined Truffle: grows in hilly and mountainous areas between 100 and 1000 meters (sea level). The plants with which it develops in symbiosis are mainly: oak, holm oak, turkey oak, hornbeam, hazel; secondarily: tilias, rock rose and oak.
• Black Winter Truffle: it develops in the same habitat and next to the same plants of the black one.
• Bianchetto Truffle: it grows in calcareous soils, often in hardwoods and conifers, but in general can be found in the same places of the white truffle. It is highly sought by tradition in the areas of Toscana, Romagna and Marche.
• Summer Truffle or “Scorzone”: is collected next to the ground surface.
• Barbed Truffle grows in the same area of summer truffle. The gathering takes place mainly in cool areas with constant humidity throughout the year, such as deep valleys and slopes facing north. About the soil, the hooked truffle takes place in clay, calcareous, but also grows in compact soils where there are no prolonged waterlogging. It grows in symbiosis with poplars, limes, oaks, hazels and beeches.
• Black Smooth Truffle: also grows in symbiosis with poplars, limes, oaks and hazels.
• Moscato Truffle: grows in deciduous forests (especially oaks) underground in limestone soil.
• Truffle of Bagnoli: it widespreads in southern-center Italy growing in symbiosis with oak, beech, birch and hazel.
Typically, the period of harvest of these “small treasuries” takes place in the period from mid-September until February / March, with specific differences for each species.
Besides the well-known touch of uniqueness that gives to the dishes, this tuber is presented as an excellent antioxidant that helps fight free radicals, making the skin more luminous, fighting the stains and stimulating collagen production. It is also rich in minerals and consumed in the right doses aids digestion. These are the “hidden” benefits, but some also said that given it seems to boast aphrodisiac properties.
Consumption and conservation
How they are preserved at home and how they should be eaten?
Easily findable and accessible are the recipes based on this tuber. Perhaps are less known its conservation methods. By specialized forums we find the advice to keep food in airtight containers, to do not lose the flavor. Before storing it in containers, the truffle must be thoroughly “clean”: the task can be done using a toothbrush not too hard or a brush to gently remove excess soil. Another ruse to apply is to fill the container where we put the truffle, with rice in order to maintain the right level of humidity. A viable alternative to airtight containers is there is also another practical special storage that it plans to chop the mushroom together add it to the butter and place in the freezer. We just have to try!
White truffle vs Black truffle
Although belonging to the same category, the two types of truffles have different using practices in the kitchen:
• the black truffle can be used in higher quantities and must be consumed cooked.
• The white truffle is being a flavoring agent, which transmits especially a scent to the foods and so it must be used in small doses. Unlike the black, the white is consumed exclusively raw slicing it with a special slicer directly into the dish.