The truffle is a mushroom and it can be found underground; to be more precise you can find it under the roots of some of the most widespread trees in our area such as oaks, hazels, poplars and limes.
A symbiotic relationship is established between him and the plant called mycorrhiza with which they both exchange water, nourishment and mineral salts.
Outside it is covered with a bark called peridium and it can be smooth or wrinkled; inside the truffle there is the gleba, a fleshy mass that may appear different depending on the type of truffle.
The four main species used in the kitchen are white, black Winter, bianchetto and black Summer, also called in italian scorzone.
-White Truffle,Tuber magnatum Pico
Harvesting period: from October 1st to December 31st , based on regional calendars.
Organoleptic characteristics: smooth surface of ocher yellow or olive yellow.
The internal pulp is white yellowish with brownish shades that vary depending on the ripeness, the type of soil and the type of plant in which it lives in symbiosis: for example, truffles that are born near an oak have a hazel colored glebe, those that live near the beech trees they are more reddish.
It has a particularly marked and characteristic aroma.
Habitat: it is widespread especially in Umbria, Piedmont, Tuscany and the Marche.
-Black Winter Truffle, Tuber melanosporum Vitt.
Harvest period: from November 15th to March 15th, based on regional calendars
Organoleptic Characteristics: Peridium looks like a black warty surface, with small reddish areas if the product is immature. The gleba is black-brown in color with very dense white whitish veins. The scent is aromatic, not too pungent and the delicate flavor.
Habitat: Widespread in the Central Apennines, in Piedmont and in the Veneto region. It can be cultivated in suitable soils specially reforested with particular tree species.
BLACK Summer Truffle, Tuber aestivum Vitt.:
Harvest period: from May 1st to August 31st
Organoleptic characteristics: the peridium has a black color, with large protruding warts, which make it typical.
The gleba is nutty in color with numerous whitish veins, more or less subtle.
Finally, the scent is more delicate than other black truffles and the taste is reminiscent of porcini mushrooms.
Habitat: the black summer truffle enters into symbiosis with many types of plants such as the hazel, hornbeam, beech, birch, pine ...
It can be found throughout the Central Apennine area and in Campania, Emilia Romagna and Piedmont.
Bianchetto truffle, Tuber borchii Vitt. or albidium:
Harvest: from January 15th to April 30th.
Organoleptic characteristics: the peridium is smooth and the color can vary between ocher white and dark or very dark orange.
The gleba which is initially whitish, with the maturation takes on a reddish brown coloring; it also has rather ramified and whitish veins which later turn brown with the passage of time.
Finally the scent is penetrating and reminiscent of garlic.
Habitat: the bianchetto truffle is a much more widespread variety than other species, it can be found in broad-leaved and coniferous forests throughout Italy thanks to its ability to adapt to various types of soil.
It can enter into symbiosis with many plant species.