The truffle, as we know, is not cheap and yet, despite being close to record figures, its market knows no crisis.
According to the data published on the website of the National Center for Truffle Studies, the average price (€ / hg) of the truffle is 550€ (prezzo aggiornato al 20 ottobre 2021). Mica male!
The varieties of truffles
The truffle is a fruiting body of fungi of the genus Tuber ed it is underground, that is, its entire life cycle takes place underground. There are several species of truffles; in the world, in fact, the mushrooms classified as Tuber are 63. In the country there are 25 of them but among these only 9 are considered edible and the most commonly marketed are 6:
> Tuber magnatum Pico, better known as White Truffle of Alba, Truffle of Acqualagna or white truffle;
> Tuber melanosporum Vitt., Better known as Norcia black truffle o black truffle;
> Tuber ref Scorzone;
> Tuber borchii Vitt., Noted as bianchetto or Marzuolo;
> Tuber brumale Vitt., Better known as winter truffle;
> Tuber macrosporum Vitt., Known as the smooth black truffle.
Truffles, regardless of quality, about 80% is made up of water. Contains a good amount of minerals, especially potassium.
The content in terms of nutrients of the varieties of truffles listed above is very similar; what changes is the pleasure they produce for the palate and it is this aspect that determines the greater value of one variety over another.
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How to buy truffles
Buying a truffle requires some attention, also because scams are not uncommon. At the time of purchase it is advisable to dwell not only on'appearance of the mushroom, which must be intact, but also on perfume; it would then be necessary feel it by touch.
The fresh truffle is compact and turgid, slightly elastic; a soft to the touch truffle is not usually a good mushroom, the same goes for an excessively hard truffle. It is also essential to know how to recognize the perfume; for example, the prized white truffle, when it is really good, has a delicate ed balanced scent of garlic, hay and honey; if there is only a strong smell of ammonia, it is absolutely not to buy.
In summary, buying a good truffle is not easy and you need to know the product. Some attention is also needed in the restaurant; considering that a grated one, equal to about 10 grams of truffle, costs at least € 30/40 per dish, it is advisable to ask the restaurateur to show the mushroom and have it grated by the staff, but at the table.
The collection period varies according to the species. The prized white truffle is harvested from 21 September to 31 January. In general, however, the truffle is a mostly autumnal product which, in the case of some varieties, can also be found throughout the winter.
The summer truffle or scorzone is an exception; it is harvested at the beginning of autumn but also from 31st June to XNUMXst August.
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