French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin called truffles "the Diamond of the Kitchen".
Some of the truffle species are highly prized as food. Edible truffles are held in high esteem
in French, Italian, Croatian, Slovene,Romanian, Eastern Europe, Ottoman, Middle Eastern and Spanish cuisine, as well as in international haute cuisine. Truffles are cultivated fungi-culturally and are also harvested from natural habitats.
During the Renaissance, truffles regained popularity in Europe and were honoured at the court of King Francis I of France. However, it was not until the XVII century that Western (and in particular French) cuisine abandoned "heavy" oriental spices, and rediscovered the natural flavor of foodstuffs. Truffles were very popular in Parisian markets in the 1780s.
They were imported seasonally from truffle grounds, where peasants had long enjoyed their secret. Brillat-Savarin (1825) noted characteristically that they were so expensive they appeared only at the dinner tables of great nobles and kept women.
A great delicacy was a truffled turkey.
WHITE ALBA TRUFFLE
TUBER MAGNATUM PICO
Also known as the Piedmont Truffle, its skin is smooth and yellow. Its flesh can vary from white to reddish brown, with fine white veins. It gives off a scent of garlic or shallot.
This truffle prefers moist, humid areas and chiefly grows in northern and central Italy, and to a lesser extent in Romania, Croatia East Europe.
SEASON : FROM OCTOBER TO DECEMBER
In Europe From DECEMBER TO MARCH
In Australia From June to September
WINTER BLACK TRUFFLE
Grown in the south of France, but also in Spain, Australia and Italy, it is one of the most popular Truffle.
More or less round in shape, this truffle may reach, or even exceed, the size of an apple, although its weight does not usually surpass the 60g. Its skin bears pyramid-shaped scales and the color of the flesh changes from grey to a black with fine white veins when mature. A good truffle should be firm to the touch.
Famously sniffed after by pigs, today most Périgords are searched for with the aid of trained dogs, who have come to be preferred. The real reason is that pigs are so infatuated by the earthy aroma of black truffles that there are stories of truffle hunters who have lost fingers while attempting to rescue the fungus from their ravenous snouts.
Also known as the « Grey Truffle ». With an appearance and skin similar to that of the summer truffle, its shape is most often round and its flesh takes on a chocolate hue streaked with white veins at maturity.
As its name would indicate, this truffle grows in Burgundy, but also in Champagne, Lorraine and Franche-Comté. However, it grows first and foremost in Italy.
SEASON : FROM OCTOBER TO JANUARY
SUMMER BLACK TRUFFLE
Tuber Aestivum (Tartufo Nero di Fragno or Scorzone)
Brown-black outer skin with hazel and white marbling inside, the summer truffle is a less mature sister to the Burgundy Truffle.
Summer truffles are foraged earlier in the year than the Burgundy and are milder in taste. They can be found in Eastern Europe Italy, France, and parts of Spain.
The Italian Black Summer truffle's fruiting body has a rough alligator skin-like surface covered with small diamond-shaped projections, molded by stones surrounding it in the soil.
When mature, the Italian Black Summer truffle is near black on the surface with a pale grey flesh and white marbling that does not change color when exposed to air. It has a rich woodsy aroma with flavors of garlic, wild mushroom and earthy hazelnut undertones.
SEASON : FROM MAY TO SEPTEMBER
Also called the Musky Truffle Its size rarely exceeds that of an egg. Compared to the Melanosporum Truffle, its black skin has no glints of red and is easy to remove once scrubbed. maturity, its dark grey flesh contains white veins that are more pronounced but fewer in number than the melanosporum. It grows in an environment similar to the Melanosporum and during the same period.
SEASON : FROM DECEMBER TO MARCH
Bianchetto Spring Truffle
Tuber Borchii Vittadini
Also known as the “whitish” truffle (Bianchetto is Italian for whitish) or the spring truffle, the Bianchetto truffle is very similar to the white truffle. They are less expensive and found in the same region as the white truffle and run later in the season.
Versatile, the Bianchetto takes on the same role as the white truffle. Its strong flavor and aroma can be used to accompany almost any dish with a sauce.