May 19 2021
To know everything about black summer truffles!
What are truffles?
Truffles are round mushrooms of varying sizes (ranging from a golf ball to an orange), whose life span can last between 200 and 290 days! Unlike most mushrooms, truffles grow underground at a depth of 1 cm to 15 cm, in symbiosis with their host tree, called “truffle tree” (e.g. oak tree, hazelnut tree, ash tree).
Fun fact: While chocolate truffles have nothing to do with those featured here, they share their name because of their mushroom-like appearance!
Where do they grow?
Truffles are found primarily in Europe, in the Mediterranean regions of France, Italy and Spain.
How are they harvested?
Truffles are very rare, and since they grow underground, they are notoriously difficult to find. “Truffle dogs” and “truffle pigs” are specially trained in the utmost secret to dig them up!
It is also possible to locate them by watching the comings and goings of the Suillia gigantea fly: it lays its eggs in the woods, near truffles, which it can detect by smell.
And what about the summer truffle?
The appearance and fragrance of truffles change depending on the soil where they grow and the season when they are to be harvested. There are over a hundred varieties of truffles in the world, but only six are of culinary interest. Truffles can be of three different colours: black, white or grey.
The summer truffle, or “sun truffle” as it is called in Italy, is black and is harvested between May and October. Thanks to its subtle and delicate flavour, it can be used to prepare delectable refined dishes.
As for the winter truffle, it is white and has much more pronounced aromas. It is also the most expensive, fetching up to €3,000 a kilo!
Sources: www.truffeculture.com / Truffes L&Co Perigord – France / Wikipedia - http://www.elle.fr