One of the most luxurious and rich flavors of autumn and early winter is for me personally truffle. The warm earthy smell of a fresh white truffle or also the black winter truffle has no equal. Since in my opinion this ingredient doesn’t need much fuss to achieve its full potential, I prefer to combine it with pasta, a nice piece of fried fish or a veal steak without sauce, just a dash of superb extra virgin olive oil.
A truffle (Tuber) is a fungus that grows underground, on the roots of oaks, chestnuts, hazels and linden trees in (mutualistic) symbiosis. Squirrels eat truffles and are important for their spread. The passage of the spores through their gastrointestinal tract even improves germination. Pigs and wild boars also love truffles and were traditionally used in the search for truffles. The problem with pigs is that it is difficult to prevent them from eating (part of) the truffles themselves, and they also damage the soil, especially the mycelium of the truffles themselves. In Italy, the use of pigs has been banned for this reason since 1985 and nowadays specially trained dogs are used in truffle hunting.
The best known truffles can be distinguished in two colours: white and black. The black truffles can be recognized by their earthy taste and smell, which is even better when you heat them. The inside is white veined and the outside is often ‘covered’ with very small bumps.
White truffles, on the other hand, are more complex, more delicate and have a stronger taste. On the outside they are slightly ‘tuber’ and secretly not white, but light brown. The inside looks more like white (it goes towards beige), with white veins.
Truffles are still not cultivatable and so we are dependent on what Mother Nature provides us with. That is why truffles are so expensive and the price fluctuates enormously. Common truffle products do not actually contain real truffles (at most for legal reasons a sliver), but synthetic fragrances and flavours. The products of Il Mondo del Tartufo, which are available in our webshop on the other hand, are all made with real truffles or the natural truffle aromas!