Precious truffles, coming in two varieties white, tartufi bianchi and the black, tartufi nero, are those ever so delicious tubers that improves any humble meal. The white truffle, the higher priced tuber, boast a bigger pungent flavor and scent. While black truffles are relatively subtle and earthy.
As we come into the season from October to March, the highly prized tubers are hunted down by dogs in Italy and pigs in France. Growing predominately in Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Abruzzo and in Piedmont, truffle experts say, the best and biggest are said to rest in the countryside near Alba, not far from Turin. They grow near the roots of trees in forests, and are only detected by the trained nose of the truffle dog and guidance of his master, the trifulau or truffle hunter.
Truffles are almost always eaten raw, sliced very finely with a slicer or mandolin over risotto, cheese, or most egg dishes like a frittata. If you can get a black truffle, try lightly sautéing with a few slices in unsalted butter on very low heat for 2-3 minutes, then add tagliolini or tagarin into the pan and toss with Parmesan cheese.
Tips for handling
- Fresh truffles need to be cleaned with a soft brush, never was with water!
- Its best to consume them with a few day of being unearthed. They can be stored in the fridge in a small jar with eggs. The eggs take on the flavor of the truffles and later made into a light truffle souffle that keeps the wonderful earth flavor.
- Truffles can be stored immersed in oil and frozen up to 3 months in a sealed, air-tight bag
Join our own truffle hunger, Alberto as he takes you through the forests near Bologna for an unforgettable truffle hunting adventure and cooking vacation!!