White truffle: how to recognize it (and avoid cheating)
It’s autumn and nature, in this season, gives us its best fruits. The end of summer is always tough, but the idea of chestnut, mushrooms and new wine will help us feel a little better.
In the small treasure chest that the land offers us this season, the most precious gift is the “diamond of Italy”. Like all the greatest treasures can only be found digging the ground: this is the precious white truffle.
WHITE TRUFFLE: FEATURES
The white truffle is a hypogeous mushroom, ie growing under the ground, in symbiosis with elms, willows, poplars and oaks.
The white truffle has a smooth and roundish but irregular shape, can remember a potato. It must be turgid and velvety to the touch. When you buy them touch them! If they are “soggy” in whole or in part, they aren’t good.
It may vary: we can find small truffles such as nuts and truffles as large as grapefruit.
– The peridium, that is the outside, has a light color with a tone ranging from cream to yellow ocher. Depends on its maturation and the plant with which it lives in symbiosis.
– The glebe, or the pulp, goes from hazelnut to a darker color. It is crossed by veins ranging from white to shades of peridium.
The smell should be very intense and strong. If the scent is slight, the white truffle is not of good quality or is not ripe. He must vaguely remember garlic, wet wood and Parmesan cheese.
When you buy white truffle you have to be able to smell it and touch it, so beware of buying it in jars or online, unless you trust the seller.
What should I know to avoid fraud?
White truffle is a food that has a very high price, and for this reason the precious white truffle lends itself to real “fraud”.
So be careful when you buy it that all the features described above are being respected.
Also, keep in mind that the precious white truffle does not grow everywhere and every time of year. So already a good starting point, is to know where it comes from and in what period should it be purchased.
In Tuscany there are two areas of white truffle. The region around San Miniato in Pisa and the province of Siena, from the area of the Crete Senesi to the slopes of Monte Amiata. So if you buy Tuscan white truffles, make sure they have been harvested in these areas.
The period of the year you can find white truffle goes from the second half of September to the end of December. Truffle is a highly perishable food. It should be consumed 7-10 days after harvesting because otherwise it loses most of the features that make it valuable (and justify its price!)
This means that if you buy a valuable white truffle from February to August or you are not buying what you believe to buy or you are buying an old truffle and now without potential.
It varies depending on the season, depending on the amount of harvest and its quality. The precious white truffle can cost from 250 to 450 euros per hg. But keep in mind that the scissors vary from year to year, narrowing or widening considerably. So do not buy truffles that cost a lot more and especially much less. A low price serves to hide something.
Finally, a last tip: if you have truffles of the same size and with the same characteristics, choose what seems to you to be heavier.