Truffles, all you need to know
The truffle, an ingredient with a strong and refined taste, is one of the most sought-after products in the world. As autumn approaches, the call of the truffle and its unique flavour becomes stronger and stronger, and it is precisely in this period that the search for truffles comes into full swing. It must be said, however, that despite its fame, there are still many curiosities to be discovered: Where does the truffle originate? Which recipes best enhance its flavour? But above all, what is the price of truffles? What is the difference between white and black truffles? In the following paragraphs we will try to answer all the questions surrounding the topic of truffles, let’s start!
WHERE DOES THE TRUFFLE COME FROM?
In Italy, the first country in the world for the cultivation of truffles and the export of fine white truffles, most of us have been lucky enough to find, at least once, a truffle on our plate. But the story of a truffle begins long before its preparation in the kitchen. Among the roots of a large oak tree or under a willow tree, our precious truffle is born and takes shape. Being an underground fungus, our favourite food spends its entire life underground, at least until a “cavatore” and his trusty truffle dog spot it. Once extracted, the truffle is ready to be weighed and cooked, but we would be making a big mistake if we thought that this was the end of its existence. You should know that in order to reproduce, a truffle must necessarily release spores, which are only dispersed on the ground when the truffle is extracted, so the more we consume, the more will be found in the future. (What fantastic news!)
HOW MUCH DOES THE TRUFFLE COST?
The truffle owes its name as a ‘product of excellence’ not only to its unique taste, but also and above all to its price! The price of the white truffle per kg is between 1500€ and 3000€, while the price of the black truffle is lower but still relevant, since it costs at least 700/800€ per kg. The price of the truffle varies also according to the climatic and environmental conditions: in the periods in which perhaps it rains less and the collection is smaller the price skyrockets while in the periods in which the collection of truffle is greater the price is lowered.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WHITE AND BLACK TRUFFLE
Besides the price the differences between white truffle and black truffle are many. The first difference is obviously the colour, but in reality there are many more differences between the two types. First of all, the first big difference is in the flavour, sweeter in the black truffle and stronger, but always balanced, in the white truffle, which at times reminds us of the taste of Grana cheese with garlicky and slightly spicy tips. Another major distinction is the harvesting period, from September to January for the white truffle and from December to March for the black truffle. The differences are many and include the shape of the two truffles and the terrain in which they are most easily found, but the one that may be of most interest is the difference between the quality of white and black truffles, in essence: which is the most valuable? The answer, we don’t want the black truffle to resent us, is very simple, the white truffle. The white truffle is recognised as the most prized of all truffles, the most famous being the Alba white truffle, a product envied by the entire world.
HOW TO USE AND PREPARE THE TRUFFLE?
We now come to the recipes to make the most of the truffle’s flavour. There are thousands of recipes with truffles, but what is the best one? As far as first courses we can recommend fettuccine or tagliatelle with black truffles, while as far as second courses, we recommend: meat and truffles or truffles and mushrooms, two excellent combinations. Incredible but true, the truffle is also perfect as a dessert. Truffle desserts, such as a chocolate mousse with white truffles, are very popular among truffle lovers. The answer to the above question is therefore as follows: the truffle is so good that it can be used as a dessert.
HOW TO STORE AND PRESERVE BLACK AND WHITE TRUFFLES?
Another question that we truffle lovers often ask us is: how to preserve truffles? We know that the most effective way to preserve truffles and prevent them from losing their essence is to put them in the fridge wrapped in a sheet of blotting paper and closed in an airtight container, without washing them first! The paper should be changed every day to prevent the truffle from developing mould. Depending on whether it is a white truffle or a black truffle, the time that the truffle can spend in the refrigerator varies: in the first case we are talking about 3 to 4 days and in the second even a week.