The Winter Black Truffle is very similar to the summer truffle, so much that it is considered a variant by many scholars. The rind is made up of large warts without transverse streaks, with the characteristic hook shape. Once fully ripe, the pulp (gleba) reaches a more or less intense chocolate color. Its aroma is intense and aromatic, while the flavor is enveloping, able to stand out on every meal.It is clearly distinguished from the Ordinary Black Truffle (Bagnoli Truffle), characterized by a strong Phoenician smell, a bitter taste, and little commercial value.The valuable organoleptic characteristics of the Precious Winter Black Truffle make it, instead, precious fruit of the earth, so it also lends itself to being a refined gift idea for gourmets.
WHERE IT IS FOUND
Black Truffle is mainly found in the winter mainly under oaks, hazels, and black hornbeams.It is considered by many chefs as a “diamond at the table” and, thanks to its lower cost compared to the white truffle; it is used by many kitchens all over the world.
It has a round and rounded shape, the gleba is black or red and is furrowed by very ramified veins. The peridium has pyramidal warts of the size of 2-5 millimeters, they are gray with ferruginous reddish shades.It grows in association with broadleaved species, it can be found in the hilly environment in particular of sedimentary and well-drained soils. This type of truffle generally lives in symbiosis with plants such as oak, holm oak, hazel, and black hornbeam.
VARIETIES OF BLACK TRUFFLE
Norcia Black Truffle
It is undoubtedly the undisputed king of black truffles: the experts equate it, and some even prefer it to the white truffle.The Norcia Black Truffle grows in mountainous or hilly areas, in hazelnut, oak, holm oak, black hornbeam, in olive trees, well-drained (without water stagnation), calcareous while other times breccioso soil.
The smell is very aromatic, but at the same time balanced, without being too pungent. The taste is so delicious that it is also called black sweet truffle. It can be recognized by the usual round shape and, in minor cases, irregular, while the warts are pyramidal in shape and black. The inner part is also black tending to purple with white veins.
The hooked black truffle (or winter scorzone) is very similar to the summer one, so much so that it can be considered a variety of its own. For this reason, it is considered more prestigious than the latter.Its spores are hook-shaped, a characteristic that has given it the name Hooked Truffle. The color of the peridium is black, while the inner part is almost chocolate-colored.
How to preserve the Fresh Winter Truffle
The preservation can take place in the refrigerator, for short periods or in the freezer for longer periods:
- In the refrigerator (between 2 ° and 6 °)- It can be wrapped individually in an absorbent paper or enclosed in an airtight food container. The container must be replaced, if necessary, every day. Small white molds may form around the truffle, resulting from normal perspiration and water loss; in this case, the truffle is not yet ruined. It can be defined as ruined when it begins to lose its consistency, to become soft and consequently to emit a bad smell.
Storage period: from 7 to 15 days approx.
In the freezer:
Whole: after cleaning and drying the Fresh Black truffle, it can be frozen whole in a glass or plastic container for food use. In this case, it must still be used frozen.
Storage period: About 5 Months.
In sauce: after having cleaned and dried the Fresh Truffle, it must be ground in a saucepan with olive oil or butter and warm it. Before it reaches boiling, turn off the stove and allow it to cool. Put the sauce, according to the suitable amounts to prepare a defined number of portions (eg. for 4 or 5 persons). Put it in airtight containers, cover everything with olive oil or butter and put in the freezer.
Storage period: about 6 months.
HOW TO COOK THE FRESH BLACK WINTER TRUFFLE
Clean it with a brush or brush with bristles not too hard under running water and dry it with a dry cloth. It is advisable to keep it immersed in cold water for about 10 minutes. The fresh truffle can be used to make many recipes.Aroma and flavor are intense and pleasing, with notes of unripe hazelnut and nutmeg. Being less precious than the white Truffle but with good edibility and a pleasant aroma, the Winter Black Truffle can be used to prepare delicious and perfumed but less expensive dishes.
It can be eaten either raw or cooked because its aroma is not damaged but rather enhanced by cooking. Much appreciated for embellishing simple dishes such as tagliatelle with butter, sage and Brumale Truffle, paté, the classic fried eggs or even stuffed with Tortelli or guinea-fowl. When sliced with the appropriate slicing-truffles, it can garnish delicious hot buttered croutons.