Truffle, a matter of noseBetta Castiglione2023-12-06T13:18:14+01:00
Unveiling the aromas of tradition and excellence
Truffle, it takes a nose to understand it.
This is no mere saying; it’s the truth. Its aroma is intense, unique, profound, enchanting even with closed eyes.
Completely enveloped in its voluptuousness. Truffle is a matter of the brain and synapses; the rest is simply the pleasure of letting go.
Truffle, a journey into legende
Legends, as often happens with the most iconic products in gastronomy, abound.
One of the oldest dates back to Greek mythology, suggesting that truffles originated from the union of water, earth, and lightning.
Zeus, captivated by a maiden’s beauty, cast a lightning bolt to attract her attention.
Fortunately (one might say), the lightning missed the nymph, hitting the ground and giving life to the truffle.
Greeks and Romans once used truffles for medicinal purposes, believing in their potential to grant eternal health.
Studies on truffle extracts in later years have shown these hypogeous fungi (growing underground) contain phenols, flavonoids,
and polysaccharides—compounds with proven antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory effects.
It’s proven: truffles are genuinely beneficial to health.
In the Middle Ages, truffles were equated with magical and sinful foods.
Black truffles were considered the devil’s dung and witches’ fare, believed to proliferate near snake nests, dens of venomous creatures, and putrefied flesh of corpses.
White or black?
But where does truffle come from in Italy, and why do we find two types: white and black?
The first, the white truffle, the most expensive, fragrant, and precious, originates in certain areas of Piedmont (Langhe, Monferrato, Roero, Astigiano),
especially in Alba, recognized over time as the capital of white truffles.
The black truffle (also known as Norcia Black), on the other hand, finds its habitat in the regions of Central Italy.
The harvesting period also varies depending on the type of truffle.
The prized white truffle is harvested from early October to late December, while the prized black truffle is harvested from mid-November to mid-March.
There are also other variants of truffle available in different periods of the year.
Among the most well-known are the summer black truffle, known as scorzone, harvested from early June to late August, and the winter black truffle,
known as trifola nera, available from early January to mid-March.
After harvesting, truffles require a cleaning process, removing the thicker layer of soil from the product without altering its aroma.
Once cleaned, truffles are ready to be sold. The product can be kept fresh, in round and thin slices, or ground, the latter widely used as a base for preparing sauces.